Dear Chris Leslie…

Poor little Chris Leslie. He’s getting all the tough gigs for Labour’s Shadow Treasury team this week. Yesterday he was forced onto the airwaves to not answer on whether Labour would cut departmental budgets and today he has the pleasure of trying to respond to OECD’s spring report. Why would Balls want to avoid this?

Leslie, forced to play Ed Balls’ Chloe Smith, says:

“The OECD has once again cut its growth forecasts for the UK economy, warning that youth unemployment is too high and that weak growth means wages are not keeping up with price rises. And the OECD is just the latest organisation to say that the Government needs to increase the number of homes being built and that investing in infrastructure now will improve our economy for the future.”

Sure. But are you not forgetting something Chris? Turn to page 95 of the report. Leaving aside the bit where the independent experts say “employment performance has been good”, what do you say to their call for further fiscal consolidation?

Are you just going to ignore that? Is that really the plan? They are saying further cuts are needed to sustain our economy. You’re arguing for fewer cuts, but how’s that going to work? And no, taxing bankers bonuses is not the answer this time.




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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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