The Great Debate UK
-Ian Ellis is executive chairman of Telereal Trillium. The opinions expressed are his own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as Chancellor George Osborne makes an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-
The government is clear that reducing the public sector budget deficit is top priority and Tuesday’s budget will give us our first real indication of how and where public spending cuts are going to occur.
While there’s a consensus about the need to reduce debt, opinion is greatly divided over whether it’s safe to make these cuts in the current economic climate, with some commentators suggesting that deep cuts could bring about dangerous consequences such as job losses, damage to frontline services and even the possibility of a double-dip recession.
The dilemma is clear – how can wide-ranging cuts be made without hurting frontline services or the economy as a whole, without making redundancies and without causing public outrage?
In its May economic outlook, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development projected upward growth outlooks for BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, India and China — the world’s four largest emerging economies.
Strong growth in those economies is helping to pull other countries out of recession, the OECD said. The Paris-based organisation projects that China’s GDP growth will exceed 11 percent for 2010, and anticipates that India’s real GDP growth will be 8.3 percent. Russia‘s GDP growth is expected to be 5.5 percent, and Brazil‘s is projected at 6.5 percent. By comparison, the OECD projects that the Euro area will see 1.5 percent real GDP growth, while the UK will see a 2.2 percent growth.
-Dave Coplin is national technology officer at Microsoft. Any opinions expressed are his own.-
The British economy may technically be out of recession, but it is still not creating the jobs and growth needed to turn back the clock to the upbeat days of the past. And with a looming fiscal crisis, it’s not hard to see why some commentators are predicting the terminal decline of the British economy. I don’t think the situation for Britain is dire — yet. But if businesses want to regenerate economic engines in the future they do need to change.
-Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -
It really is hard to resist the temptation to take a hopeful view of Britain’s new government.
-David Kuo is director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-
You could not make this up if you tried.
Britain gets its knickers in a twist over a hung parliament, Europe has been unceremoniously skewered by a Greek debt crisis, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee sits idly by as the rate of inflation climbs.
– Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -
“The most exciting race in years”. “It’s going to go down to the line.” “The old order has truly been upset.”
– Ian Campbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
A first estimate of UK first-quarter growth is a chilly 0.2 percent. Failure of government policy, the opposition will say. Shows the folly of proposed Conservative spending cuts and tax increases, Gordon Brown, the prime minister, will claim. But a colder financial look will see that enormous stimulus has so far produced the weakest of recoveries. Whatever the election outcome, the UK’s leaders are going to have to be grown-ups. In this emergency, cooperation – or coalition – is required.
- Andrew Wileman is a independent business consultant and writer, most recently writing about cost management in the private and public sectors in “Driving Down Cost” (Brealey Publishing). The opinions expressed are his own. –
“We only need to cut cost because of the credit-crunch crisis.”
No, there is a deep structural problem that was there before the crunch. The public sector has been driving up its share of GDP for decades, in the UK, the U.S. and almost all advanced western economies. Its momentum will be painful to slow down, let alone reverse. This underlying trend was concealed in the nineties and noughties (when the talk was of “the end of big government”) by a debt-bubble-fuelled growth in the private sector. In the UK, we are already over a 50 percent state share of GDP.
As Britain gears up for a general election with polls pointing toward a hung parliament, pundits are not only speculating on how the political landscape of the future might look, but they are also taking stock of the past.
In his new book “Broonland, the last days of Gordon Brown“, Christopher Harvie, a former colleague of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and an SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for mid-Scotland and Fife in Brown’s Kirkaldy base, takes a turn at surveying the lay of the land.