Joachim Wehner

The UK needs more detailed spending information

While the UK is an international leader in providing transparent macro-fiscal information, there is room for improvement regarding the quality of information it provides on detailed public spending. In this article, Joachim Wehner describes what the government can do to improve.

The launch of the 2015 Open Budget Survey confirms that the UK is among the world’s most fiscally transparent […]

Budgeting in the UK is highly transparent. But that does not mean that budget decisions are carefully scrutinized, nor that the right policy judgements are made

The UK has one of the world’s most open and transparent systems for the government to provide financial information to the public. But with the Comprehensive Spending Review set to propose drastic programme changes and cutbacks, Joachim Wehner finds that compared with other advanced countries there is a serious lack of oversight and scrutiny. The results are that Parliament […]

Britain’s supersized cabinets are too expensive

As the search for massive UK public expenditure cuts swings into intensive mode, Joachim Wehner finds a strong link in comparative work between the number of department heads sitting around a country’s cabinet table and the proportion of GDP absorbed in public spending.

In his quest to regain control over the deficit, the Chancellor has asked his cabinet […]

The ‘emergency’ budget – solving the UK’s problems? Or creating the basis for new crises?

This week’s budget saw the introduction of massive cuts to public sector spending, benefit reductions, lowering of corporation taxes and a rise in VAT. Five LSE experts discuss its key implications:

Is this a progressive budget?

The tax side of the budget is carefully done, but it can only work as the government intends on average, says Professor John Hills. […]

Will a hung parliament endanger fiscal consolidation?

Many commentators fear the detrimental effects of a hung parliament on the speed and depth of fiscal adjustment. Yet an election that fails to deliver a clear majority for a single party need not spell fiscal disaster, says Joachim Wehner – it all depends on how the resulting government manages the situation.

The argument that minority or coalition governments are […]

Hard Choices in UK Public Policy – What to cut, not when

No matter who forms the new government in May 2010, the new set of ministers will have to tackle the worst deficit in UK public finance for decades. The 2010 to 2015 period will inevitably require policy-makers and citizens to make some hard choices – either raising taxes or pruning spending on previously highly valued […]