Warwick Week – Comprehensive Spending Review
This week, the whole country has been discussing the Comprehensive Spending Review. There are still significant unanswerable questions regarding how it will change the nature of the UK economy but Warwick academics have been having their say…
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nigel Thrift on Higher Education
Now that the Government has announced the outcome of its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) we are beginning to get some indication of the level of the cut to public funding of higher education in England.
While we have yet to see the detail the CSR does appear to include a significant cut in University funding as was suggested in a wide range of news media over the last few weeks.
Angie Hobbs on Fairness
The Comprehensive Spending Review announcements have prompted many discussions on the concept of “fairness”. Are the spending cuts fair? Is fairness too expensive? In a feature on Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Angie Hobbs explains the philosophy of fairness.
Lord Robert Skidelsky on Growth Prospects
Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor in Politics and International Studies said Mr Osborne's cuts would "directly worsen immediate growth prospects". Writing in the New Statesman, Lord Skidelsky said:
What are the prospects for Osborne's cuts? They will directly worsen immediate growth prospects, as the Office for Budget Responsibility concedes, and they will not in themselves bring about offsetting reductions in long-term interest rates.
For this, we need quantitative easing (printing money) and it is no secret that this is what the Chancellor relies on to vindicate his policy.
Yet one would be wrong to think this is a cure-all ... the injection of £200 billion of new money in 2009 failed to revive lending and borrowing on the scale needed for robust recovery, and it is not clear why the Chancellor and the governor of the Bank of England expect another monetary injection to do any better now.
Wyn Grant on Social Security
In an article on bloomberg.com, Prof Wyn Grant commented on the social-security spending cuts:
Local agents who administer benefits are subject to local political pressures… Even if the local administrators do not know the people whose cases they administer, there may well be a local culture that is sympathetic to, for example, people who have been unemployed for long periods of time.’’
Prof Mark Harrison on the Welfare State
Prof Mark Harrison, Department of Economics was on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire on Thursday morning looking at the future of the Welfare State – have George Osborne’s cuts made it a thing of the past?
Prof Mark Harrison, also looks at the principles and the future of the welfare state after George Osborne’s cuts on his blog:
Panic is in the air, especially in the British public sector. Yesterday's comprehensive spending review prompted BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire to ask me this morning if this marks the end of Britain’s welfare state.
There will be a major contraction, for sure. At the same time, it is far from the end of welfarism as we have known it since the late 1940s. George Osborne’s cuts, if and when they take effect, will bring the government’s share of GDP back down just below 40 percent – that is, where it was in the early 2000s. At that time, less than a decade ago, the welfare state was still alive and well.
What will have changed? Most likely tomorrow's welfare state will be smaller than it is now. And the principles on which it is based are evolving. But given the scale of cutbacks, the evolution of the principles is surprisingly slow.
An Academic Analysis
The morning after the Comprehensive Spending Review announcements, Prof Abhinay Muthoo from the Department of Economics, Prof Wyn Grant from the Department of Politics and International Studies, and David Elmes, Director of the Global Energy MBA at Warwick Business School, got together to talk through some of the details in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review .