Magazine article Public Finance

Economists Call for Fiscal Policy Committee

Magazine article Public Finance

Economists Call for Fiscal Policy Committee

Article excerpt

An independent body should be set up to scrutinise government plans to plug the public deficit, according to leading economists.

Tim Besley, professor of economics and political science at London School of Economics, told Public Finance that a fiscal policy committee would help achieve 'an appropriate level of transparency and accountability'.

While admitting that there was a sense of 'quango fatigue', Besley said the business case for a fiscal watchdog was 'perfectly credible' given the savings the country would make in interest payments and risks associated with credit ratings. 'This body would more than pay for itself,' added Besley, a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.

The proposal was included in a letter to the Sunday Times newspaper on February 14. Besley and 19 other leading economists called for an all-party consensus on a 'credible' deficit reduction plan ahead of the election. …

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