Henry Gold criticises the Treasury’s fixation on government finances and Tony Franklin calls for urgent action on fixed-odds betting terminals
Philip Inman’s article (Britain’s rising debt problem needs urgent attention, 25 September) not only highlights the limited role of the OBR in not questioning the Treasury’s assumptions about the future path of the economy while merely checking the calculations.
It also points to a more important truth: that the Treasury is often wrong in forecasting the economic consequences of its actions, notably in its 2010 view that austerity would have very little impact on growth. It seems to see its main role as guardian of the government’s finances and, in particular, its credit rating and ability to borrow on the best possible terms. The independent Bank of England may now be seen as being the chief player in regulating economic growth through monetary policy.