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 email@example.com
The collective day-to-day spending of all those other departments – Business, Home Office, Justice, Environment, Culture etc – would fall from £94.6bn in 2011/12 to just £29.7bn in 2018/19. That’s a real terms cut of 70%.
Ian McCafferty is implicitly assuming that trend productivity growth has been lost forever and the only element to be explained is the shortfall relative to 2007. That makes the rest of his analysis, I would argue, inherently pessimistic.
* Backs a 50p top rate of tax, but not a mansion tax
* Admits that the merger of Lloyds and HBOS during the financial crisis was a mistake
* Treasury resisted pressure from former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King to put more capital into RBS
* Outlines why he disagrees with the present Governor, Mark Carney, on the desirability of rising debt to GDP levels
Pessimists wonder how sustainable this is. They fret that the recovery has a glass jaw and that an increase in interest rates by the Bank of England could expose some over-stretched households and deliver a lethal blow to wider confidence.