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发布时间:2020-02-09 04:36:27
The Autumn Statement has little or nothing in it to improve the living standards of ordinary peopleThe dithering Chancellor presented an entirely uninspiring, do nothing, Autumn Statement as the UK economy slows. It is now over eight years since recession hit in April 2008 and given that they usually occur every eight years or so, because of the business cycle, the next downturn is overdue. The fact that the Government has no credible plan for Brexit and businesses have no idea of what form it will take or when, has raised economic uncertainty. As a result firms continue to cut their investment plans. A new survey out this week shows that British people in November had rightly become a lot more pessimistic about economic prospects than they were in July. The Office for Budget Responsibility revised

down the growth forecast for 2017 to 1.4%, and 1.7% in 2018 down from 2.2% and 2.1% respectively in March. Unemployment and inflation will be higher and wage growth will be lower. This week the ONS published new numbers showing real weekly wages, that is what your pay packet buys at the shops, is still down 7.5% since its pre-recession peak in February 2008. There is little o

r nothing in the Autumn Statement that is going improve the living standards of ordinary people a jot. But even those numbers may be overly optimistic. The OBR itself also presented an even worse scenario where economic growth is 0.8% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018, which looks more credible to me. Read MoreRelated ArticlesThe sneaky way the Autumn Statement will

affect the cost of your holiday And there is every prospect that reality will be much worse than that; the OBR has a history of having to revise down its forecasts. Then Hammond will have to play catch-up. Fiddling at the edges, which is what the Chancellor did today, won’t help matters. An additional 1billion or so on infrastructure to fill in a few potholes in England is a drop in the bucket. To place it in context, it is about one-fifth of the likely 5billion cost of refurbishing the Houses of Parliament. Infrastructure investment pays for itself in the long run. It would be perfectly sensible to issue an infrastructure bond of 100billion or even 1trillion to give the economy a needed boost. That would allow the Bank of England to start to raise interest rates. Read MoreRelated ArticlesWhat we found in the Autumn Statement small print that Philip Hammond hoped youd miss This is important, as when the next downturn comes we want the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to be able to cut rates, but it has nowhere to go now. I am not impres

sed. Same old Tories. David Blanchflower is the former

Bank of England rate setter