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79 leading economists attack Osborne’s plans to entrench a permanent budget surplus

79 leading economists attack Osborne’s plans to entrench a permanent budget surplus



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• Letter to be published in Saturday 13 June’s Guardian
• Prominent signatories: Dr Ha-Joon Chang, Thomas Piketty, Dr David Blanchflower, Prof Mariana Mazzucato and Prof Simon Wren-Lewis

On June 13 [Saturday] the Guardian will publish a letter from 79 leading economists condemning the Chancellor’s plans to legislate for a permanent budget surplus.

The letter was coordinated by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class), and has gathered a range of prominent signatories from across academia and economics.

The letter argues that:

“Osborne’s proposals are not fit for the complexity of a modern 21st century economy, and as such, they risk a liquidity crisis that could also trigger banking problems, a fall in GDP, a crash, or all three.”

And that:

“These plans tie the government’s hands, meaning it won’t be able to respond appropriately to constantly evolving economic circumstances, good or bad. The plan actually takes away one of the central purposes of modern government: to deliver a stable economy in which all can prosper. It is irresponsible for the chancellor to take such risky experiments with the economy to score political points. This policy requires an urgent rethink.”


Notes for editors

1. The letter can be found:

2. Signatories available for comment:

David Blanchflower, Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and ex-Monetary Policy Committee
Prof Mariana Mazzucato, R.M. Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation, University of Sussex
Prof Simon Wren-Lewis, University of Oxford
Prof Andrew Cumbers, Professor of Political Economy, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK

For media requests please contact:
Rachel Yates 07939 753 061
Ellie O’Hagan 07732 891 599

3. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade unions including ASLEF, BFAWU, CWU, GFTU, GMB, FEU, Musicians' Union, NUM, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, UCU and Unite the Union. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.

Work areas: Economy and Industry.