James Moore: The IMF is backing a plan B for Britain
Outlook Talking of the IMF, its main reason for being in town yesterday was to give its view on the current state of the UK's economy.
And as with any of its statements there was a little something for everyone in there. But if you'd listened to yesterday's press conference you could hardly come away from it with any other conclusion than that the IMF is quietly endorsing those who argue that plan A (austerity and deficit reduction) is actually damaging the UK economy.
The IMF, it's fair to say, is hardly calling for a spending binge. But despite the Treasury hosting its press conference, it is saying the man in charge of that department ought to at least be thinking about a plan B. Or maybe a plan A-plus.
In its view that means instead of deficit reduction this year, the £10bn or so slated to be saved should instead be deployed to fund capital projects, infrastructure spending and the like.
This chimes with what Centre for Economics & Business Research said recently, when it argued that the UK's GDP would be 5 per cent higher if its shabby infrastructure were brought up to the level enjoyed by some of our competitors. And it calculated a boost to GDP of £1.3bn for each £1bn spent on achieving that goal.
If its numbers are correct that £10bn would provide a £13bn boost to the UK's GDP (and lift economic activity by £28.4bn).
It would also create a lot of jobs. If that isn't enough to tweak the Chancellor's interest it would provide the additional benefit of being politically expedient, and popular.
While a large number of his colleagues appear to think otherwise, it is the economy that is the number one concern among voters. Europe comes way down the list. Following the IMF's prescription might have the benefit of demonstrating that someone in Government is aware of that fact.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea: First Kim Jong-un orders execution of uncle - now it emerges that victim's wife was involved in decision to execute him
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 Italian court annuls prison sentence for elderly paedophile after 11-year-old victim tells investigators in Catanzaro that she loves him
- 2 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 3 Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...
attractive: Citifocus: Leading Asset Management house, wish to identify a temp...
£200 - £240 per day: Harrington Starr: Client Data Management - City - Brokera...
£44999 - £60001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier firm i...