Friday 24 November 2017

Budget planners could learn from Bank of England

New Governor Bank of England Mark Carney
New Governor Bank of England Mark Carney

CAN you feel it? As the silly season passes us by and ministers get back from their holidays, the traditional pre-budget floating of possible budget policy ideas has started in earnest.

Leaking away like a broken fridge during a heatwave, amongst other acts of unpleasantness, ministers and civil servants have already mentioned the reduction of old-age pensions, widow's pensions, and perhaps the 'bursting' of the cap on student numbers in classes as potential policy changes.

No one, not even those on the Economic Management Council, know which policies will materialise in October's Budget, because in the end the Budget is in equal parts a mixture of good policy and hard bargaining between coalition partners with one eye on the next election.

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