A bounce back Budget

By Bob Neill | 02 November 2021
  • Bob Neill

Setting out stringent fiscal rules for the future and underlining the limits of the State on the one hand, while increasing departmental spending by £150bn and announcing a level of capital investment not seen since the 1970s on the other, last week’s Budget was an economic Jekyll and Hyde. Given the circumstances, these opposite approaches shouldn’t, I suppose, come as that much of a surprise. After all, they reflect a conflict within the Cabinet on whether to pursue a more interventionist, Keynesian school of economics in response to the pandemic or push ahead with the sort of smaller government advocated by Milton Friedman.

Whatever view you take, and after 19 months of dire warnings, the Budget was notable for its optimism in our ability to bounce back from COVID-19.

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