Fiscal rules 'close to meaningless' unless sensitivity to OBR forecasts is reduced

Trio of economists tell Treasury Committee

clock • 5 min read

Economists have called for the UK fiscal regime to be “less sensitive” to forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility, arguing the way these are currently applied makes the nation's fiscal rules “close to meaningless”.

At a Treasury Committee hearing yesterday (21 February), a trio of economists were quizzed on the role of OBR forecasts ahead of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget on 6 March. Charlie Bean, professor at the London School of Economics, who has also served as chief economist and deputy governor for monetary policy at the Bank of England and as a budget responsibility committee member at the OBR, said it would be "desirable" to operate the fiscal regime in a way that was less reliant on the OBR forecasts. Nina Skero, CEO of the Centre for Economic and Business Research, agreed, notin...

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