September 4

MPs warn over Osborne watchdog

first_img whatsapp THE government’s fiscal watchdog should be entirely independent of the Treasury, an influential group of MPs has said, if it is to avoid accusations of political bias. In its first report on the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), published today, the powerful Treasury Select Committee says the watchdog should be “an institution with its own legal personality, responsible for appointing its own staff”.The OBR, which is charged with providing economic forecasts free from political interference, is currently an adjunct of the Treasury and borrows most of its staff on secondment, leading to accusations that it cannot be truly independent. Its autonomy was called into question in June, after former chair Sir Alan Budd rushed out unemployment forecasts ahead of schedule, allowing David Cameron to use the figures as ammunition in a highly-charged session of Prime Minister’s questions.Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the committee, said: “For the OBR to succeed, it will have to be, and be seen to be, independent, particularly after the difficult early period of the interim body.”George Osborne set up the OBR to stop chancellors from “fiddling the figures to fit the Budget”, but today’s report will put him under pressure to make the body more independent than originally envisaged. An aide to Osborne said he had already pledged to house the OBR in a building outside of the Treasury, but that he had not yet taken a view on whether it should be legally independent. But Chuka Umunna, a Labour member of the select committee, said: “Just putting it in a different building is not enough to give the public and the City the impression that it is independent.”The Treasury select committee has already convinced the chancellor to give it a veto over any plans to hire or dismiss the OBR’s chairman. Last week it approved the appointment of Robert Chote, formerly director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, as the new chair. The OBR is currently operating on an interim basis, and its final incarnation will depend on legislation due in the Autumn. KCS-content Show Comments ▼ MPs warn over Osborne watchdog Share whatsapp Monday 20 September 2010 9:36 pm More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comPuffer fish snaps a selfie with lucky divernypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comBill Gates reportedly hoped Jeffrey Epstein would help him win a Nobelnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest Tags: NULLlast_img read more