19 February 2010

Other economists bite back, but how big is the deficit?

Here they come, those economists who can’t make up their minds.  Scores of this inconsistent bunch of individuals have signed two letters, published in the FT, saying Brown is right and everything will be alright until 2011.

These latest views come on the back twenty other economists writing to the Sunday Times saying Cameron is right.  And that is not all.  The debate between Finkelstein and Nelson continues and now Guido Fawkes has joined the party, which gets this quick fire response.

One can only imagine what the Corus workers must be making of all this.  We move on.

There is a huge splash in the Times highlighting all the wonderful details on the deficit.  It is only when you peel away the outer layers of this onion that things start to get a bit smelly.

Hamish McRae, who writes in a way that us voters can understand, reports that some tinkering with the figures may well be going on:

There is evidence that the authorities are holding back reimbursement for overpaid income tax that would normally be paid now. The reason for this may simply be that they have been flooded with repayment requests and been unable to cope, but it may be that they are deliberately trying to make the borrowing figures look less bad than they are really are. Either way, this makes the figures better now at the cost of making them worse in a couple of months' time.

Naughty stuff, but hardly a shock horror revelation at this sensitive time in the political cycle.  Gordon Brown is playing his little games with the odd statistic or two.

Just why is it that Our Dear Leader would wish to see “figures better now” than in two months time?

Could it be something to do with the election date?

You may every well ask.

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