Jonathan Portes's picture
Affiliation: 
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Credentials: 
Director

Voting history

Responsible long-term fiscal policy (pilot survey)

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:
Confident
Comment:
Yes but A) there is no threshold value (60,90, whatever) over which debt is dangerous B) In immediate aftermath of crises (like now) priority should be for fiscal policy to support recovery

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:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Whether it is sensible to target the absolute or structural deficit may well depend on the political circumstances - a country with a record of responsible fiscal policy may be in a better position to adopt a more gradual approach.

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