According to the European Court of Auditors, €7 billion of the 2013 budget was misspent. However, the EU has a very loose definition of the word ‘misspent’, Here are a few examples of projects judged to be money well spent: €500,000 paid to two fishermen to scrap their boat in the interests of reducing overfishing. That cleared their debts and paid for a new, smaller boat in which they continued fishing. €2.5 million to support an Austrian nomadic contemporary dance troupe. […]
Tag Archives: Fiscal policy
Yesterday, we learned “public sector net borrowing was £0.6 billion in July 2012; this is £3.4 billion higher net borrowing than in July 2011, when net borrowing was -£2.8 billion (a repayment)”. Compared to say May, when we borrowed £17.9 billion, £600 million seems relatively modest. It’s still the gross annual earnings at the national average wage of over 23,000 people. Apparently, it was a surprise to economists (again). They expected the usual July surplus. As far as I recall, […]
Via Learn Liberty, a video which tries to make the US fiscal position understandable: What If the National Debt Were Your Debt? Government debt is not the same as household debt of course. Households can’t debase everyone’s money in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
Via the Autumn Statement, page 25, forecast Government receipts and expenditure through the Parliament as a percentage of GDP: See also this chart, showing how our national debt is forecast to increase as a consequence. The legacy this Government was handed remains a scandal.
What would they have done about this “new fiscal compact” agreed at the recent European Council: General government budgets shall be balanced or in surplus; this principle shall be deemed respected if, as a rule, the annual structural deficit does not exceed 0.5% of nominal GDP. Such a rule will also be introduced in Member States’ national legal systems at constitutional or equivalent level. The rule will contain an automatic correction mechanism that shall be triggered in the event of […]
The economic facts behind the Autumn Statement, in as far as they are known or forecast, are available in the Economic and Fiscal Outlook from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Table 4.7 provides forecast current receipts. Table 4.18 provides total managed expenditure. So, here’s a chart of current receipts (i.e. tax) and total managed expenditure (i.e. spending) for the next few years: The reality is that the Government intend to increase spending every year of the forecast period and to meet […]
Via the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (PDF), the revised trajectory of public sector net debt: City AM reported back in July on a poll that, asked whether the coalition would be keeping the national debt the same over the next four years, increasing it by £350bn or cutting it by £350bn. Just nine per cent got it right – 21 per cent thought it would be staying the same and an astonishing 70 per cent thought the national debt would be […]
Via PAUL: One year to go – Washington Times (and twitterer @tomjdalton): I firmly believe the American people are serious about cutting spending and fixing our debt crisis now. Those struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families while also trying to save for the future know we must change course immediately. I’m not running for president merely to trim a little here and there from our bloated federal budget. Instead, I have offered the boldest, most specific and […]
Via Federal, State, and Local Expenditures as a Share of GDP at WWII Levels | Mercatus. Today federal, state, and local expenditures as a share of GDP are back at the highs reached during World War II. This time, however, we are unlikely to see a swift decrease. Wartime expenditures on items like weaponry and salaries for conscripted soldiers were relatively easy to wind down. The bulk of current and future government spending is on entitlement programs like Social Security […]
I met three bright young men this morning, two representing students at Bucks New University and one representing FE students at Amersham and Wycombe College. Our conversations covered tuition fees, Education Maintenance Allowance, social mobility, life chances, career prospects and related subjects. It was a real pleasure to have thoughtful, measured and insightful conversations about these difficult and sensitive subjects on this controversial day. I thought all three young men were inspiring. However, stepping out of the tuition fees debate for […]