Wednesday 10th February 2021
We are just a few week’s away from the next budget and there’s been much speculation about how Rishi Sunak will cope with rising government debt. The gloomy picture he portrayed at the spending review last year has undoubtedly got worse with the current lockdown. Nobody expects he will cut spending or raise taxes straight away, but the Milton Friedman in him will want to reduce public debt as quickly as is practicable. Today Berenger’s Kallum Pickering joins Phil Dobbie to suggest that, in historic terms, public debt isn’t too bad. He says the evidence is the underlying economy is doing okay and once we lift lockdown we could see growth return quickly, but it would be too soon to dampen that with tax increases. Also today, Mat Hancock’s latest pronouncements puts UK tourism into the ICU ward.