David Cobham's picture
Affiliation: 
Heriot Watt University
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Effects of an embargo on Russian gas

Question 3: By how much would an immediate EU-wide import ban on Russian gas reduce EU GDP growth per annum in 2022-3, in percentage points (pp), absent other policies?

Answer:
Between 1pp and 3pp
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
There are of course other effects from the events in Ukraine...

Question 2: By how much would an immediate EU-wide import ban on Russian gas reduce German GDP growth per annum in 2022-3, in percentage points (pp), if the government offset the costs with a well-targeted fiscal policy?

Answer:
Between 1pp and 3pp
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Now nearer 1% than 3%.

Question 1: By how much would an immediate EU-wide import ban on Russian gas reduce German GDP growth per annum in 2022-3, in percentage points (pp), absent other policies?

Answer:
Between 1pp and 3pp
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
must depend on accompanying policies

The Impact of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on the UK Economy

Question 3: Relative to tax plans at the beginning of the year, the UK government should respond by:

Answer:
Increasing tax rates
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The increases should be in specific areas including a windfall tax on oil and gas producers, rather than in VAT (regressive) or income (and NI) taxes, and the latter should not be cut. Governments who set aside funds for bribes to the electorate at election time should be ashamed of themselves.

Question 2: Relative to the public spending plans at the beginning of the year, the UK government should respond by:

Answer:
Increasing public spending in real terms
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The original plans, which were in line with the austerity arguments used after 2008 (now widely discredited, mainly by papers from the IMF research department), were already in need of adjustment, and the Ukraine war strengthens the case. At the same time there is a clear argument for tightening public expenditure control, targeting tax cuts and expenditure increases on the poor (including the unemployed), and eliminating favours to friends and supporters of the government.

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