The Reluctant Armchair Auditor

Sorting spending fact from fiction

My twitching audit nose

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By means of excellent client management I had the chance to read the OBR Forecast and see the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today.

I have to own up to being a bit bemused. My audit nose is twitching. What caught my eye are the claims about public sector jobs. There’s something odd going on here. The largest fiscal consolidation since goodness knows when with lower levels of public sector job losses than we have seen in other recessions?

Neat if you can pull it off. But even my friends over at the Institute of Directors are uncertain about the claim,

The really interesting story from the OBR is the slashing in public sector job losses from 490,000 to 330,000. This means that the projected public-sector employment losses are almost half those seen in the 1990s. The peak-to-trough reduction in public spending in the 1990s was 7.4 per cent of GDP. The comparable reduction now is 7.9 per cent of GDP by 2015-16. So the spending squeeze is on a par with the 1990s but the employment shake-out is far less. This is puzzling, even when we allow for a greater burden of the cuts falling on welfare spending this time around. [Source: Guardian Politics Blog at 2.04pm]

That’s this evening’s reading sorted out then.

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Written by reluctantarmchairauditor

November 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm

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