Stephen Millard's picture
Affiliation: 
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Credentials: 
Visiting Professor, Durham University Business School

Voting history

Addressing UK public finances after the mini-budget crisis

Question 3: Given the desired amount of deficit reduction, the Autumn Statement on balance:

Answer:
Should have relied more on tax increases
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Public services have already been cut to the bone. We are going to have to realise as a nation that if we want better public services we need to pay for them through higher taxes.

Question 2: Relative to the Autumn statement, would the UK be better off reducing public debt

Answer:
Substantially slower
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Again, the need at the moment is to loosen fiscal policy so as to help struggling households deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

Question 1: How necessary was it for the UK government to lower its deficit through tax increases or spending cuts in November 2022?

Answer:
Absolutely necessary
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The point was not whether or not they had to lower the deficit but whether they couldn't have left even more of that tightening to a time in the future, given the need to actually loosen fiscal policy to help support struggling households at the moment.

Assisting Households Facing Rising Energy Costs

Question 3: Should a windfall tax be used to (fully or partially) finance support to households?

Answer:
No
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Although windfall taxes are economically efficient, if energy companies expect their profits to be subject to a windfall tax whenever prices rise, they will be disincentivised from investing. And this is particularly important as we want them to be leading investment into the green technologies that will help the UK move towards net zero.

Question 2: Which of the following is the best way to address the impact of rising energy costs on household finances?

Answer:
Conditional/targeted transfers
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
There are two issues here. We should let the price mechanism work to determine overall demand for energy, which is why I would not support a cap. And we should deal with the issue of the poorest households being hit particularly badly via redistribution.

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