Barclay Exposes Flaws in Treasury’s No Deal Forecasts

As Barclay points out, a forecast 15 years out that assumes the Government takes no action is not likely to be the most reliable…

mdi-timer 21 July 2019 @ 13:27 21 Jul 2019 @ 13:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
McDonnell’s Ten-Point Treasury Takeover Plan

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has written to the Treasury’s most senior civil servant, Sir Tom Scholar, to put the Treasury on notice of the radical changes he is planning for how it operates if he ever becomes Chancellor. Guido has obtained his own copy of the three-page letter setting out McDonnell’s 10-point plan to reshape the Treasury as the all-powerful instrument of his own economic ideology. Guido gives you a taste of the future that lies in store under our glorious Corbynite overlords:

The revolution will be swift, McDonnell wants an emergency budget passed “within no more than 10 weeks”. The Treasury is instructed to “plan for the necessary preliminary actions to be taken to ensure that spending in advance of Royal Assent is permissible” – he wants the civil service to enact his “urgent spending priorities as well as tax proposals” including a “National Investment Bank” before he has even secured full approval from Parliament. The centrist counter-revolutionaries will never see it coming…

A full civil service re-education programme will be implemented: “The Treasury will widen the range of economic theories and approaches in which its officials and those in the rest of the government are trained”. Those emergency spending powers will help them get their own copies of Mao’s Little Red Book in good time…

McDonnell plans to centralise more power under himself by introducing new versions of Brown’s Public Service Agreements scrapped by Osborne, which give the Treasury the power to impose “monitoring arrangements” and exercise much tighter control over individual Government Departments. He also wants the current 3-year Spending Reviews to be replaced by good old 5-year plans. They worked so well in Soviet Russia and Maoist China after all…

The Treasury will also be required to throw open “all its policy making processes, including Budgets and Spending Reviews” to “wide” and “meaningful” consultations with the public, “businesses, trade unions, civic organisations and relevant stakeholders.” Will Momentum be getting a seat at the table?

The obvious reason why this is not done is because the contents of the Budget are highly market-sensitive, it would cause absolute chaos with price moving leaks. Of course in McDonnell’s true Marxist utopia, all businesses would be owned by and all prices set by the state, so maybe this wouldn’t be an issue after all…

The letter makes clear the scale of Corbyn and McDonnell’s ambitions to fundamentally reshape the institutions of the state along their own ideological lines. Any moderate Labour MPs who are happily going along with it on the basis that it’s just a slightly stronger form of Milibandism are going to be in for a nasty shock…

mdi-timer 26 March 2019 @ 12:05 26 Mar 2019 @ 12:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Remain and Leave Economists Pressure Treasury to Reveal Project Fear Models

The Treasury is under renewed pressure to reveal the models behind its latest round of Project Fear forecasts, with a group of 26 economists including Remain and Leave supporters writing to Treasury Select Committee Chair Nicky Morgan, calling on her to demand that the Treasury makes its models available to “qualified independent economists”. Signatories to the letter include former external members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, former economic advisers to government and the CBI and former Treasury officials. Not just the usual Brexiteer economist crowd…

The letter notes the “widespread unease about the very negative post-Brexit outcomes predicted by the Treasury’s economic model” and complains that the Treasury’s attempts to explain its approach have been impenetrable even to “experienced macroeconomists”. The Treasury’s black box figures are playing a huge role in the Government’s approach to Brexit, they should be subject to full independent scrutiny…

Read the full letter below:

Read More

mdi-timer 10 December 2018 @ 13:30 10 Dec 2018 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Treasury Modelling Based Off Nonsense Assumptions

The Treasury’s modelling is notoriously dodgy. So dodgy in fact that in 2010 George Osborne set up the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to provide less political analysis than the hyper-political plaything of the chancellor of the day.

Economist Andrew Lilico has pointed out that in its analysis, the Treasury makes three remarkable assumptions.

  • Assumes there is no economic gain at all from controlling our own policy compared with the EU doing it.
  • Assumes there is no gain from “Future domestic policy choices.”
  • Assumes GDP gains from new trade deals with non-EU countries are only 10% of what the EU estimated those gains would be.

These are clearly ludicrous assumptions as no credible economist assumes there are zero economic gains to be made from liberating companies from EU red tape. This further exposes the Treasury as a political tool not a serious economic body.

Guido remembers the Treasury’s bogus analysis during the referendum….

“Britain’s economy would be tipped into a year-long recession, with at least 500,000 jobs lost and GDP around 3.6% lower, following a vote to leave the EU, new Treasury analysis launched today by the Prime Minister and Chancellor shows.”

In February of this year, Cambridge academics concluded that most of the economic impact assessments before the referendum were “flawed”, and that the Treasury’s analysis was particularly bad.

“The short-term forecasts of the Treasury and OECD, which have turned out to be wrong, have further damaged the already weak public confidence in economists’ contributions to public debate.”

Wrong then, wrong now…

mdi-timer 28 November 2018 @ 13:34 28 Nov 2018 @ 13:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mogg: Either Hammond or Treasury Officials Trying to Frustrate Brexit

The Mogg has a point here. As Guido pointed out yesterday, Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform did say that the Treasury is trying to bounce the government into a softer Brexit. That is either a breach of Hammond’s collective responsibility or the civil service’s duty to implement government policy. Isn’t that the more important story?

mdi-timer 2 February 2018 @ 17:29 2 Feb 2018 @ 17:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Charles Grant DID Say Treasury Pushing Government Towards Softer Brexit

The big row today is over whether the Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant did or didn’t tell Steve Baker that the Treasury was deliberately trying to change Brexit policy and keep us in the customs union. Baker says he did. Grant says in a statement:

“I did not say or imply that the Treasury had deliberately developed a model to show that all non-customs union options were bad, with the intention to influence policy.”

Fair enough. But it turns out Grant did say the Treasury was trying to influence policy by forcing the government into a softer Brexit. Publicly, in July:

Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform… revealed the existence of an unpublished Treasury analysis showing that the costs of leaving without a customs union deal far outweigh any benefits from future overseas trade deals.

“The coalition of forces pushing for a softer Brexit is considerable,” Grant said. “The Treasury, long an advocate of retaining close economic ties to the EU, is newly emboldened.”

Does anyone really think the Treasury doesn’t want a softer Brexit?

mdi-timer 1 February 2018 @ 15:51 1 Feb 2018 @ 15:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page