Tax and Fiscal Policy

McDonnell’s criticism of PM’s spending splurge is the wrong one

Mark Littlewood comments on the Shadow Chancellor's pre-spending review speech

Commenting on Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s pre-spending review speech, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood said:

“John McDonnell is right that a long-term vision for spending priorities is better for the economy than tinkering at the edges. But his criticism of the Prime Minister’s spending splurge is the wrong one. 

“Having finally got close to eradicating the budget deficit, after years of delay, now is the time to reduce the tax burden on workers, consumers, and property owners – not funnel more money into state-run projects and institutions.

“An agenda of big spending, higher taxes and one that puts little emphasis on fiscal responsibility is no alternative to the spending proposals he criticises.

“McDonnell should also be cautious when taking swipes at a “transatlantic trade deal”, especially as the specific details of such a deal are still unknown. The broad principle of free trade is almost universally agreed by economists to bring benefits and raise living standards for all parties involved.”

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