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

Voting history

Greece’s elections and the future of the Eurozone

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Question 2: Do you agree that refusal of the core EU countries to a renegotiation of the Greek bailout agreements would carry serious risks for the economic well-being of the Eurozone?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Rightly or wrongly, moral hazard concerns will prevent too many concessions to the new Greek government, though it could be argued - with other peripheral economies now doing better - that it is more of a special case now than in 2012.

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Question 1: Do you agree that a Syriza victory on 25 January would lead to a significant or sustained escalation in spreads for other peripheral Eurozone countries?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
We will not know for certain until after the election but so far Greek contagion in bond markets has been limited. This seems different from 2012.

2014 Autumn Statement

 

Question 2: Do you agree that the underperformance of tax receipts in recent years, provides a strong case for higher taxes?

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The lesson of recent years is that it hard to raise tax receipts relative to GDP, even with higher tax rates, though the government has also deprived itself of some revenues by raising the tax-free personal allowance.

Question 1: Do you agree that the scale of this planned reduction in total managed expenditure is credible?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
It is credible, but probably only in the context of stronger growth than the OBR is predicting, and no longer ring-fencing some protected areas of spending.

Devolving Income Tax Powers within the UK

Question 2: Do you agree that that there is a clear economic case for establishing "English votes for English laws" with the same tax and spending powers as the Scottish Parliament?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
There is a case for Scottish and possibly other MPs absenting themselves from certain votes. But England's dominance of the UK economy means separate tax and spending powers are not necessary.

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