Ben Chu is The Independent's economics editor. Previously he was the newspaper's chief leader writer. He is the author of 'Chinese Whispers: Why everything you've heard about China is wrong' (2013). Follow him on Twitter: @BenChu_. Contact him on email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless one is going to take refuge in the discredited theory of an expansionary fiscal contraction or the scare story that closing the deficit any less rapidly would have resulted in a catastrophic run on UK government debt it’s still clear the economy would have recovered more rapidly without the Chancellor’s austerity.
There have been big cuts in poor areas and lighter cuts in well-off districts. If there was localised dissatisfaction at the impact of these cuts on services a national poll would not necessarily pick it up.
A surprisingly large share of minimum wage workers are in the top half of the distribution. Indeed, there are more minimum wage earners in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth highest deciles than in the bottom two poorest deciles.
* Many bankers are still overpaid
* The Chancellor’s Help to Buy subsidies are not a good idea
* Banks should not be broken up
* Narrow banking (ordinary deposits all backed by ultra-safe government bond) would be “too risky”
* Higher equity buffers for banks will result in less credit for the real economy
Yes, the UK economy has recovered. But the evidence of high fiscal multipliers when interest rates are low and trading partners are also retrenching suggests it would have done better since 2010 without the Chancellor’s front-loaded tax hikes and capital spending cuts.