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Outlook and appraisal [March 1990]

Love, Jim and Ashcroft, Brian and Brooks, Richard and Dourmashkin, Neil and Draper, Paul and Dunlop, Stewart and Lockyer, Cliff and Magee, Lesley and Malloy, Eleanor and McRory, Eric and Monaghan, Claire and McGregor, Peter and Perman, Roger and Stevens, Jim and Swales, Kim (1990) Outlook and appraisal [March 1990]. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 15 (3). pp. 1-2. ISSN 0306-7866

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The measures included in this year's budget have not led to the significant tightening of the fiscal stance which was widely expected. The overall tax burden was marginally increased, mainly through increases in excise duties, with virtually no change occurring in direct taxation. Presumably the Chancellor feels that the continuing policy of high interest rates is sufficient on its own to curb domestic demand, and did not want to increase the risk of recession by tightening fiscal policy just as the economy begins to slow down. The evidence on domestic demand remains mixed, although Mr Major can take some encouragement from the February statement of the Committee of London and Scottish Bankers.