Kate Barker's picture
Affiliation: 
British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme
Credentials: 
former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee

Voting history

COVID-19 and UK Public Finances

Question 2: What is the best way to (eventually) reduce public deficits and debt?

Answer:
Tax increases
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
It is very hard to see how the aftermath of this crisis can maintain adequate public spending without some tax increases. There is a high risk that the better-off will continue to save more - taxing in order to support demand may be important - and in the longer run part of the deficit reduction.

Question 1: How urgently should the UK government address the rise in public debt?

Answer:
HM Treasury should present a long-term plan to reduce the deficit as soon as possible, but not introduce measures to do so in the upcoming budget
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The ideal response for me would have been that in the upcoming budget rather than a 'plan' HMT should introduce a few measures but launch a consultation on the pace of deficit reduction and tax and spend measures (there are also decisions about how to roll forward spending given no spending review). Some decisions should be progressed asap - the National Infrastructure Statement is needed to help with recovery and the way forward on climate change. And it would be very appropriate for a proper policy on social care finally to get the priority it deserves.

The UK Productivity Puzzle

Question 2: Which of the following was the second most important cause for the slowdown in UK productivity growth?

Answer:
None of the above, other, or no opinion
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Other - low investment generally and weak diffusion of the benefits of the R and D that is undertaken.

Question 1: Which of the following was the most important cause for the slowdown in UK productivity growth?

Answer:
Labour market factors
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Hared to make a choice here - but the loss of labour bargaining power and the apparent erosion for some young people of a skills premium may be linked. The labour market does seem to be working differently and as often discussed this is positive as work is positive for most people - but there are negative impacts too

Labour Markets and Monetary Policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that, in a period of great uncertainty and after a prolonged period of weak real wage growth, monetary policy makers can afford to wait for greater certainty about real wage developments and building inflationary pressure before raising interest rates?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Wages are not the only thing that matters. we learned about the dangers from credit imbalances in the 2000s. Monetary policymakers should worry about the risks of economic volatility as well as just the inflation target. This is all supposed to be taken care of by the FPC - but unlike Ben Broadbent my view is that the FPC and MPC should be one - though I have not always thought that.

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