George Osborne’s Budget – the first purely Conservative Budget in nearly 20 years – was “radical”, “far-sighted”, “tactical as ever”, though not without its weaknesses, according to Bronwen Maddox, Editor of Prospect Magazine.
- He maintained his credentials as the austerity Chancellor set on balancing Britain’s books. But his numbers relied on contestable projections.
- Measures increasing the burden on the wealthy are unlikely to offset anger at welfare cuts. And the Budget had little to say on education and tackling the UK’s housing crisis.
- However, the strength lay in his measures aimed at increasing UK productivity and developing a high wage economy.
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Writing recently for the Telegraph, Roger Bootle, Managing Director of Capital Economics, believes that Britain could become the world’s fourth largest economy within decades, and that chances are the British economy will still be a major force in world affairs in 20 years’ time.
This follows the news that China is likely to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy faster than expected. Roger argues that such circumstances arise in part because China’s population is four times the size of the US population. Like China, he says, the Britain’s economic standing will be affected by population size.
Other factors, such as the upcoming Scottish Referendum, will also affect the future of the British economy. Roger asserts that if “Scotland votes for independence, the UK will immediately lose about 10pc of GDP and, accordingly, slip down the rankings quite a way. None of this would imply that people in the rest of the UK would be any worse off – at least not directly. Indeed, they may even be better off. But it would reduce the UK’s weight in the world.”
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Dr Gerard Lyons is currently among the top twitter influencers and players with regard to the debate on the UK economy, according to the website Influmetrics.
Analyses based on Twitter conversations also show that he is the economist making the most impact, which is measured by the influence being multiplied by the activity of the Twitter user.
Check out who else is making a difference here.
In an recent article for The Telegraph, Dr Gerard Lyons, chief economic adviser to Boris Johnson, explained that the message for Britain from the G20 is to prepare for stronger global growth.
Gerard argues that despite uncertainty, he remains positive about what lies ahead for the UK economy. He points out the reason for this uneasiness is that the global economy has faced three paradoxes in recent years:
- The policy paradox – where the policies many countries want to pursue in the long term are not those they have been able to implement in the near term.
- The regulatory paradox – in the wake of the crisis, economies tightened regulations, particularly in the financial sector.
- The balanced economy paradox – the policies each economy may want to pursue in isolation to get back into shape are not necessarily the policies you want all countries to follow at same time, lest demand weakens.
He goes on to say that as confusing this global picture may be, three messages of reason stand out for the UK.
Click here to read what these are.
I went to the offices of the Sunday Times yesterday to do a quick interview with economics editor David Smith. Insightful as ever, David shared his thoughts by St Katherine Docks on UK growth, the future of the euro and the US debt crisis.
David said that an impartial observer would downgrade the US credit rating, but this would mean downgrading the entire global economy at a time of low confidence. Given the problems faced by the US and the eurozone, David was mixed about the outlook for the UK economy: in difficult times stability is “not bad”, he said, but borrowing and the budget deficit remain problems that need to be tackled.