Blog: January 2016
The Grand Old Duke of York had nothing on the Prime Minister’s European “renegotiation”. The Prime Minister floated an “emergency brake” on free movement more than a year ago. But the proposal was quickly ditched, because, as the Financial Times said, the rules are supposed to deal with situations such as acts of war or volcanic eruptions, not the movement of fruit pickers from eastern Europe.
Two months ago the Prime Minister claimed that “around 40 percent of all recent European Economic Area migrants are supported by the UK benefits system.” It was immediately obvious that this number was cooked up in Number 10, not by a statistician but rather by special advisers. The UK Statistics Authority forced DWP to publish, very hastily, a deeply unconvincing post-hoc
The Financial Times (£; free reg) has just published its annual survey of UK economists’ views of prospects for the year ahead. As ever, before looking at what we think might happen this year, it’s worth looking at what we said last year. My answers in full from last year are here. The headline one on growth was this: