Monday, October 5, 2020

(Ratioed) Tweet of the day

BBC tweeted a video in which UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak promises to "protect the public finances, over the medium term getting our borrowing and debt back under control." Sunak says

"We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong, and through careful management of our economy this conservative government will always balance the books."

A tough line to take on a day when even the IMF is imploring governments to spend more.

Responses to Sunak's statement include

  • Jack Seale: "Balance the books" always, always means taking from the poor and vulnerable, by cutting their benefits and smashing the public services they rely on, and getting away with it thanks to basic lies about how government finances work. About as far from "sacred" as you can get.
  • Pavlina Tcherneva: Economic malpractice. Obsessing over accounting ratios that say nothing about the health and wellbeing of the community.
  • Simon Wren-Lewis: Sacred?! From fiscal rules that treat government like a household to fiscal rules ordained by God?
  • Richard Murphy: Staggering that he has no idea about macroeconomics, the need for deficits during recessions, and the role that they have in creating employment and wellbeing.

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