First, stimulus. Mr Osborne has been boasting of his plans to reduce taxes and spending simultaneously. This is precisely the opposite of what is required at a time of weak aggregate demand, and every bit as foolish as when Gordon Brown increased both taxes and spending in a boom. I will unveil a package of spending on roads, railways, primary schools in oversubscribed areas and social housing. In many cases this will simply mean implementing pre-existing plans, so the building work can start without delay. By utilising spare resources in the economy, this plan will stimulate demand and provide urgently needed infrastructure at a low cost to the wider economy. On the “stitch in time” principle it will also reduce the total need for public spending over the next decade and beyond.
More at the FT from Tim Harford.