Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The IFS wins the election debate
Posted by David Smith at 09:15 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

I can't remember the Institute for Fiscal Studies having such a prominent role in an election before, so congratulations to Robert Chote, its director, for turning its assessment of the political parties' fiscal plans, or lack of them, into such a major news event. It may, of course, be partly because we haven't had an election for a long time when the need for fiscal consolidation is so pressing.

There isn't much to argue with in the IFS analysis, which can be accessed here. Labour will say it has shown more leg on its fiscal plans than the other parties, though it started the rot be refusing to carry out a comprehensive spending review. The Tories made a step back by saying it would scrap most of Labour's planned National Insurance rise. The IFS exercise is a useful reminder that the Liberal Democrats are not as open and honest as Nick Clegg keeps claiming.

Meanwhile, Germany's foot-dragging on Greek aid has already made a bad crisis worse than it need have been. The eurozone was never meant to be like this. At the moment it isn't working.