The Student Room Group

Modelling the state – is it time for the OBR to have control over fiscal policy?

For the majority of the early 21st century, the Bank of England has had control over the direction of monetary policy within the UK. Throughout this period few have dared challenge the ‘status quo’, therefore is now the time to consider major reform?

Included below is a list of policies which would have a profound impact on the existing system of governance:

1. Introduce the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2024 to enshrine most of the measures below.

2. Abolish the positions of all treasury team ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and appoint the head of the OBR, namely Richard Hughes to the position of ‘Chief Economist’.

3. Change the format of ‘budget’ statements into televised broadcasts whereby Richard Hughes, chairman of the OBR, will present their budget and spending reviews in line with the government of the days ‘mandate’ on spending as a percentage of GDP, debt as a percentage of GDP, yearly deficit/surplus targets as a percentage of GDP and a blended percentage in terms of the balance between spending increases/decreases and tax increases/decrease i.e. 45% focus on spending increases and a 55% focus on tax reductions.

4. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.

5. Introduce a mandatory requirement for the UK main opposition to submit their proposals to the OBR for a balanced assessment of opposition vs government proposals on the key indicators contained above.

6. Introduce a ‘new position’ of Secretary of State for the OBR (& shadow), appointed by the party leaders to answer questions on behalf of the OBR chair after a budget/financial statement.

7. Introduce a ‘confidence’ vote in the head of the OBR by parliament after a period of 5 years, or at the start of a new parliament.

8. Introduce a ‘fiscal exemption lock’ whereby during times of national crises, the Prime Minister will be able to restore for a period of up to 12 months (or longer in exceptional circumstances), a treasury team if economic growth is below 0% for 8 successive terms in 2 year and/or a time of national emergency.

9. Individual policy measures, such as specifical departmental increases/decreases, tax and/or tax relief increases/decreases will be dealt with by the individual departments with the OBR allocating budgets based on the government of the days priorities.

10. Introduce a department for ‘Taxation’ with the title Secretary of State for Taxation to specifically deal with tax increases/decreases and/or new taxes based on spending allocations by the OBR.

11. Delegate the task of setting inflation targets to the OBR, based on the government of the days ‘mandate’ on properties with the OBR providing the government with a target estimate rates based on the blend of proposed spending/taxation measures.

12. Merge the Bank of England and the OBR into one independent institution.

13. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.

14. Amend the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 to establish an ‘economic’ division within the Supreme Court with the Court being able to ‘override’ any measures which the OBR does not feel are consistent with the government of the days legal ‘mandate’.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by EmilyJade24
For the majority of the early 21st century, the Bank of England has had control over the direction of monetary policy within the UK. Throughout this period few have dared challenge the ‘status quo’, therefore is now the time to consider major reform?
Included below is a list of policies which would have a profound impact on the existing system of governance:
1. Introduce the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2024 to enshrine most of the measures below.
2. Abolish the positions of all treasury team ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and appoint the head of the OBR, namely Richard Hughes to the position of ‘Chief Economist’.
3. Change the format of ‘budget’ statements into televised broadcasts whereby Richard Hughes, chairman of the OBR, will present their budget and spending reviews in line with the government of the days ‘mandate’ on spending as a percentage of GDP, debt as a percentage of GDP, yearly deficit/surplus targets as a percentage of GDP and a blended percentage in terms of the balance between spending increases/decreases and tax increases/decrease i.e. 45% focus on spending increases and a 55% focus on tax reductions.
4. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.
5. Introduce a mandatory requirement for the UK main opposition to submit their proposals to the OBR for a balanced assessment of opposition vs government proposals on the key indicators contained above.
6. Introduce a ‘new position’ of Secretary of State for the OBR (& shadow), appointed by the party leaders to answer questions on behalf of the OBR chair after a budget/financial statement.
7. Introduce a ‘confidence’ vote in the head of the OBR by parliament after a period of 5 years, or at the start of a new parliament.
8. Introduce a ‘fiscal exemption lock’ whereby during times of national crises, the Prime Minister will be able to restore for a period of up to 12 months (or longer in exceptional circumstances), a treasury team if economic growth is below 0% for 8 successive terms in 2 year and/or a time of national emergency.
9. Individual policy measures, such as specifical departmental increases/decreases, tax and/or tax relief increases/decreases will be dealt with by the individual departments with the OBR allocating budgets based on the government of the days priorities.
10. Introduce a department for ‘Taxation’ with the title Secretary of State for Taxation to specifically deal with tax increases/decreases and/or new taxes based on spending allocations by the OBR.
11. Delegate the task of setting inflation targets to the OBR, based on the government of the days ‘mandate’ on properties with the OBR providing the government with a target estimate rates based on the blend of proposed spending/taxation measures.
12. Merge the Bank of England and the OBR into one independent institution.
13. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.
14. Amend the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 to establish an ‘economic’ division within the Supreme Court with the Court being able to ‘override’ any measures which the OBR does not feel are consistent with the government of the days legal ‘mandate’.
This is just a troll haha
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by BenRyan99
This is just a troll haha

I fail to see how producing a list of policies concerning wide ranging reforms to the functions of the OBR is in any way 'troll' like?

The list above includes detailed legislative measures which could be undertaken in order to implement all the policies in a reasonable way.

Prior to Bank of England independence ever being proposed by a large number of countries, I would imagine reforming the monetary policy could also be argued as 'radical'.
(edited 1 month ago)
It's either a troll, or a set of proposals which haven't been thought through very well. If you had genuinely thought through these proposals, why is proposal 4 & 13 exactly the same. It's clear that these are written either from a position of ignorance or to provoke a reaction.

For sure there are some proposals which are fine, like proposal five. But many others either miss the whole point of the OBR or rely on the assumption that a government will happily legislate away its own control of fiscal policy. Personally, I don't think one can really read-across from the BoE's independence to making fiscal policy independent - it's very different and to think otherwise demonstrates a misunderstanding of how public economic/financial institutions operate.
Reply 4
Original post by EmilyJade24
For the majority of the early 21st century, the Bank of England has had control over the direction of monetary policy within the UK. Throughout this period few have dared challenge the ‘status quo’, therefore is now the time to consider major reform?
Included below is a list of policies which would have a profound impact on the existing system of governance:
1. Introduce the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2024 to enshrine most of the measures below.
2. Abolish the positions of all treasury team ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and appoint the head of the OBR, namely Richard Hughes to the position of ‘Chief Economist’.
3. Change the format of ‘budget’ statements into televised broadcasts whereby Richard Hughes, chairman of the OBR, will present their budget and spending reviews in line with the government of the days ‘mandate’ on spending as a percentage of GDP, debt as a percentage of GDP, yearly deficit/surplus targets as a percentage of GDP and a blended percentage in terms of the balance between spending increases/decreases and tax increases/decrease i.e. 45% focus on spending increases and a 55% focus on tax reductions.
4. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.
5. Introduce a mandatory requirement for the UK main opposition to submit their proposals to the OBR for a balanced assessment of opposition vs government proposals on the key indicators contained above.
6. Introduce a ‘new position’ of Secretary of State for the OBR (& shadow), appointed by the party leaders to answer questions on behalf of the OBR chair after a budget/financial statement.
7. Introduce a ‘confidence’ vote in the head of the OBR by parliament after a period of 5 years, or at the start of a new parliament.
8. Introduce a ‘fiscal exemption lock’ whereby during times of national crises, the Prime Minister will be able to restore for a period of up to 12 months (or longer in exceptional circumstances), a treasury team if economic growth is below 0% for 8 successive terms in 2 year and/or a time of national emergency.
9. Individual policy measures, such as specifical departmental increases/decreases, tax and/or tax relief increases/decreases will be dealt with by the individual departments with the OBR allocating budgets based on the government of the days priorities.
10. Introduce a department for ‘Taxation’ with the title Secretary of State for Taxation to specifically deal with tax increases/decreases and/or new taxes based on spending allocations by the OBR.
11. Delegate the task of setting inflation targets to the OBR, based on the government of the days ‘mandate’ on properties with the OBR providing the government with a target estimate rates based on the blend of proposed spending/taxation measures.
12. Merge the Bank of England and the OBR into one independent institution.
13. Rename the ‘residency’ of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the ‘residency of the Chief Economist’ whereby the head of the OBR will reside.
14. Amend the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 to establish an ‘economic’ division within the Supreme Court with the Court being able to ‘override’ any measures which the OBR does not feel are consistent with the government of the days legal ‘mandate’.

You mean appoint a dictator?

Sure ut can be done, plenty off places have been run under dictatorships.
Original post by BenRyan99
It's either a troll, or a set of proposals which haven't been thought through very well. If you had genuinely thought through these proposals, why is proposal 4 & 13 exactly the same. It's clear that these are written either from a position of ignorance or to provoke a reaction.

This is the same poster that suggested presumption of guilt for the accused in all accusations of sexual assault so...I had assumed the latter previously but it may be the former. Hopefully the former really...
Reply 6
Original post by artful_lounger
This is the same poster that suggested presumption of guilt for the accused in all accusations of sexual assault so...I had assumed the latter previously but it may be the former. Hopefully the former really...

A gross misinterpretation of the article titled 'Unconscious bias - is it time to rethink how we address VAWG?'

Firstly, to address the dishonesty in the statement "This is the same poster that suggested presumption of guilt for the accused in all accusations of sexual assault".

I fail to see how advocating for the strengthening of investigative powers, recommending an overall of certain elements included in the Human Rights Act of 1998 regarding SOME of the provisions which extends CERTAIN powers of the ECHR; and I fail to see how suggesting alternatives in terms of providing extended avenues for pursuing civil litigation is indicative of me suggesting a 'presumption of guilt'?

Regarding Article 6 of the ECHR, I expressed concerns regarding the interpretation of what 'reasonable time' means, given the subjective nature of the wording - I suggested disapplying, for a limited time, article 6, amongst other articles, until both the court backlog and overall VAWG is reduced - this was suggested for safeguarding reasons.

If I can recall, you fundamentally disagreed with extending the option to remand suspects in custody until either any investigation and/or proceedings had excluded, regardless of safeguarding benefits of such a policy.

You also were opposed to the state funding civil litigation if a victim of a criminal investigation and/or trial wished to pursue such an application for reasons of 'closure'.

You additionally thought my 'immediate injunction' in lieu of bail policy would result in a number of individuals being subjected to unreasonable restrictions, regardless of whether they were involved in any offending conduct. Although, you failed to mention that such an injunction COULD be revoked by the civil courts if a suspect wished to appeal such a decision.

Unfortunately, your assessment was one sided and failed to consider the safeguards which are already built into the system which COULD be triggered by a suspect if any decision was deemed excessive.

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