Patrick Minford's picture
Affiliation: 
Cardiff Business School
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

The “Spend Now, Tax Later” Budget

Question 3: Which of the following best characterizes the pace at which the budget addresses UK’s medium term fiscal challenges (deficit and debt)?

Answer:
Reduces deficits too rapidly
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Just as after wars the UK has taken a long time to reduce the debt/GDP ratio, doing so via growth in nominal GDP, so it should do now. Indeed given the need to reinforce growth, taxes should rather be cut, so raising growth, which would boost tax revenues and so pay off debt.

The ECB’s Green Agenda

 Question 1: Which of the following actions is the most advisable approach for European Central Bank to address the environmental impact of its bond-purchasing policies?

Answer:
No change in policy
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
First, it is important that monetary policy is independent of politics; otherwise this puts central bank independence at risk. Second, biasing the portfolio of assets used in open market operations may undermine the effectiveness of monetary policy.

Lockdowns and UK Economic Performance

Question 2: How much will the new lockdown measures introduced on Thursday November 5 hurt UK economic activity this year relative to a counterfactual with the milder measures adopted over the summer?

Answer:
Small damage
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
It seems that most of the economy has now found ways of working around lockdown. There will be disruption of hospitality and travel which were beginning to recover; the extent is hard to gauge but given that the lockdown ends by December, it should be limited.

Question 3: Using not only the policy tools that have been part of the UK policy mix thus far but also policy tools implemented in other countries, to what extent does the government face a tradeoff between saving lives and preserving livelihoods? 

Answer:
Small tradeoff
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Had the government focused on preventing infection among vulnerable groups, including in care homes and hospitals, it could have saved many lives while causing less disruption to the economy.

Question 1: How much of the decline in GDP experienced to date would have been avoided in the absence of any lockdown measures or other policy interventions (such as fiscal support)?

Answer:
A substantial portion or the entire decline
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Had the government followed Swedish-style policies of social advice, there would have been a fall as people took social distancing measures. But it would have been much reduced, as indeed was the Swedish fall.

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