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送交者: icemessenger[♂☆★★★SuperMod★★★☆♂] 于 2023-06-10 3:35 已读 1303 次 1 赞  


Promising tax cuts is bad economics — and politics

The chancellor’s fiscal rules give him room for pledges that please the Conservative backbenches but there’s a big caveat. 6park.com


Almost as if last year’s disastrous “mini” Budget had not happened, the Conservative party is again excited about tax cuts promised this autumn. Government sources have been busy briefing that the prime minister wants to lower the income tax rate by 2p in the pound; meanwhile, a group of 50 Tory MPs have demanded the abolition of “morally wrong” inheritance tax. 6park.com

英国保守党再次对首相承诺在今秋出台的减税措施感到兴奋,几乎就像去年灾难性的“迷你”预算没有发生过一样。政府消息人士近来忙着通报一个喜讯:首相想要降低所得税税率,相当于每一英镑减少2便士;与此同时,50名保守党议员要求废除“在道德上错误的”遗产税。 6park.com

None of the recent activity should be unexpected for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who encouraged such speculation in his March Budget. He promised to make the £9bn a year investment allowances in corporate tax permanent “as soon as we can responsibly do so”, while adding in evidence to MPs that “the Conservative approach is that we bring down taxes when we can”. 6park.com

财政大臣杰里米•亨特(Jeremy Hunt)对最近的这些动向不应该感到意外,他在3月预算案(March Budget)中鼓励了此类猜测。他当时承诺“一旦我们能够负责任地这样做”,就会让每年90亿英镑的公司税投资免税额永久化。他还向议会议员们提供证据表明“保守党的做法是在我们可以做到的时候就降低税收”。 6park.com

Lowering taxes “responsibly” and “when we can” was always said with something of a wink to Tory backbenchers. Ministers thought they only needed to wait until the Autumn Statement for the Office for Budget Responsibility to give them cover for tax cuts. 6park.com

部长级官员们在说“负责任地”和“在我们可以做到的时候”降低税收的时候,总会对保守党后座议员们眨一眨眼示意。他们认为,等到《秋季预算声明》(Autumn Statement)出炉的时候,预算责任办公室(OBR)可以为他们计算出减税空间。 6park.com

The reason for this confidence is a little arcane. Hunt’s fiscal rules are measured five years into the future. At the time of the March Budget, they implied public debt had to be falling as a share of national income in the 2027-28 financial year, alongside public borrowing dropping below 3 per cent of gross domestic product. This autumn, the comparison year will roll forward to 2028-29, giving the chancellor scope to incorporate another year of unrealistically tight public spending plans into the forecasts, magically improving the outlook for debt and borrowing. 6park.com

这种信心的理由有点神秘。亨特订立的财政规则是基于对五年后的预测。3月预算案出炉时,这些规则表明公共债务与国民收入之比到2027-28财年必须下降,同时公共借款与国内生产总值(GDP)之比必须降至3%以下。到了今年秋天,比较年份将向前调整为2028-29财年,使财相有空间将又一个公共支出计划紧缩得不切实际的财年纳入预测,从而神奇地改善债务和借款前景。 6park.com

By law, the independent OBR must accept the government’s word that public spending will be held down, regardless of past experience suggesting it is highly unlikely. Even if the fiscal watchdog privately thinks the spending numbers are nuts, it can only raise the odd eyebrow in its write-up. The upshot is that a dodgy forecast can be used as independent justification for pre-election tax cuts. 6park.com

依照法律,独立的预算责任办公室必须接受政府关于公共支出将被压低的说法——即使过去的经验表明这种可能性极小。即便这个财政监督机构私下认为相关支出数字纯属胡扯,它也只能在其报告中略表诧异。总而言之,一个不靠谱的预测可以被包装成由独立机构提供的在大选前减税的理由。 6park.com

Conservatives feel they win either way. If tax cuts boost their electoral chances, ministers can deal with the fallout later. If they fail, the consolation is that an incoming Labour government will face an almost immediate public finances nightmare. 6park.com

保守党人认为,无论如何他们都会是赢家。如果减税提振他们的胜选机会,部长级官员们可以在之后应对财政烂摊子。如果他们在大选中落败,他们可以感到安慰的是即将上任的工党政府几乎立即就会面临一个公共财政噩梦。 6park.com

That was the theory. In practice, the plan appears to be going a little awry, just as it did for Liz Truss last summer. The economy might be stronger now than expected in March, but that does not normally improve the medium-term public finance outlook. Stronger economic growth now comes in exchange for weakness later. 6park.com

那是理论。在实践中,该计划似乎出了一点岔子,就像去年夏天时任首相利兹•特拉斯(Liz Truss)所遭遇的那样。英国经济现在也许强于3月的预期,但这通常不会改善公共财政的中期前景。眼下更强劲经济增长的代价是之后的相对疲软。 6park.com

The bad news for the Treasury is that all expected interest rates are now higher than in March across the five-year forecasting horizon and the UK’s public finances are highly sensitive to borrowing costs. Financial markets now expect the Bank of England’s policy rate to average over 5 per cent in 2023-24 and hover a little around 4 per cent over the next five years — a full percentage point above the OBR’s forecasts in March. Gilt yields are also close to a percentage point higher. 6park.com

对英国财政部来说,坏消息是,在五年预测范围内,现在的所有预期利率都高于3月的时候,而英国的公共财政对借款成本高度敏感。金融市场现在预计,英国央行(Bank of England)的2023-24年平均政策利率将超过5%,然后在未来五年徘徊在4%左右——比预算责任办公室3月的预测高出整整一个百分点。英国国债收益率也高出近一个百分点。 6park.com

Unlike many advanced economies, the UK has highly transparent accounting of debt interest: these rises in expected borrowing costs will force the OBR to revise up the UK’s deficit by roughly £20bn a year, close to 1 per cent of national income. That is more than the additional headroom ministers hoped to gain by playing games with the fiscal rules. For the time being, then, it eliminates much of the scope for cutting taxes and remaining within the fiscal rules. 6park.com

与许多发达经济体不同,英国的债务利息核算高度透明:预期借款成本的上升将迫使预算责任办公室将英国的年度赤字上调约200亿英镑,接近国民收入的1%。这超出了部长级官员们希望通过在财政规则上做文章获得的额外空间。那么,就目前而言,它消除了既要减税、又能保持在财政规则范围内的大部分空间。 6park.com

Public finance numbers can change and there are several months before the Autumn Statement. But you have to wonder about the discipline and numeracy of a Conservative party that appears to be going into a second summer of tax cut fever when the numbers don’t add up. 6park.com

公共财政数字可能会变化,而现在距离《秋季预算声明》还有几个月时间。但你不得不怀疑保守党的财政纪律和计算能力,因为该党在数字怎么算都对不上的时候,带着减税狂热进入第二个夏天。 6park.com

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