Ben Chu: This was Plan B all right
Outlook Some commentators are saying the IMF's advice to Mr Osborne this week did not amount to a call for the Chancellor to adopt an economic Plan B. I beg to differ. The IMF did not say the Government should merely permit the automatic stabilisers to function – which is what Mr Osborne means when he talks about his plan's flexibility. It did not say the Treasury should cut more to allow more infrastructure spending, enabling the overall deficit programme to continue at the same pace. What the IMF said is that the UK should not cut the structural deficit this financial year. At all.
But didn't the IMF also say that the Coalition's medium-term strategy remains appropriate? It was not so clear cut. Listen to the IMF deputy managing director David Lipton: "One has to evaluate the impact of policies on the economy as you go, so whether the present medium-term framework turns out to be an appropriate one when measured next year or the year after remains to be seen." Note "remains to be seen".
What we have here is a call for the UK to pause structural deficit cuts this year and a strong hint the Coalition should be prepared to ease up in future years as well, depending on the state of the economy. If that's not a Plan B, what is?
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...