UK Economy Watch II: Has Osborne wasted the past 12 months?
Allister Heath is another economist who is always worth reading and listening to. We are fans of his sometimes hard-hitting daily editorials in City AM, which have become a must-read for the newspaper’s growing Square Mile readership, (the newspaper also carries occasional write-ups of Chartwell’s Breakfast Club discussions).
Few commentators are as willing as Allister to question received wisdom. Here he is writing in this week’s Spectator (Wake up, Osborne!) “Osborne’s relatively small £20bn reduction in annual borrowing is merely the minimum he can realistically get away with if he is to keep Britain’s creditors at bay.” Alongside his concern that the Treasury’s cuts programme is too benign, Allister gripes about the government’s failure to provide “pro-growth, supply-side measures including a bonfire of red tape” since it was elected, and he’s not going to go quietly. He is also nervous about the dangers of a US default, and the developed world’s addiction to borrowing and over-regulation. In a highly competitive, global economy, he worries the west risks being left behind.