David Smith's picture
Affiliation: 
Sunday Times
Credentials: 
Economics editor

Voting history

Prospects for Economic Growth in the UK April 2014

Question 1

The long period of slow or negative growth might imply that there is a substantial output gap in the UK economy.  Do you agree that there is currently a larger output gap than the OBR estimate to the extent that the shortfall in output relative to capacity is 3% or greater?  

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

Responsible long-term fiscal policy (pilot survey)

Second question:

To help ensure that advanced country governments pursue responsible fiscal policies, countries should adopt formal rules for limiting structural deficits, which are supported by primary legislation or constitutional reform.

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
There will be times when governments need to adopt discretionary fiscal policy, even when such action would result in a rise in the structural deficit. Such rules are likely to be too limiting.

First question:

To help ensure that advanced country governments have sufficient flexibility to respond to future crises, it is important that finance ministries aim for a ratio of public debt to GDP that is substantially less than 60% in normal times.

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The experience of the crisis was that even countries with low debt to GDP ratios, such as the Uk and New Zealand, saw them rise very sharply. It is prudent to aim low.

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