UK finances are a mess and Tories and Labour keeping public in the dark, says IFS
-Institute of Fiscal Studies also dismissive of plans by Lib Dems, Greens and – in particular – Reform UK

财政研究所表示,英国财政一团糟,保守党和工党让公众蒙在鼓里
——英国财政研究所也对自由民主党、绿党,尤其是英国改革党的计划不屑一顾


(The IFS is sceptical that growth will be strong enough to spare Rachel Reeves from making tough choices.)

(财政研究所怀疑经济增长是否会强劲到足以让瑞秋·里夫斯免于做出艰难抉择。)
新闻:

Britain’s public finances are in a mess. Difficult decisions loom once the election is over. But the public is being kept in the dark about what might happen.

英国的公共财政一团糟。选举一结束,艰难的决定就迫在眉睫。但公众对可能发生的事情一无所知。

That, put briefly, was the gist of what the Institute for Fiscal Studies had to say about the Conservative and Labour party manifestos. The thinktank was also pretty dismissive about the plans of the smaller parties: the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and – in particular – Reform UK.

简而言之,这就是财政研究所对保守党和工党看法的主旨。该智库对小党派——自由民主党、绿党,尤其是英国改革党的计划也相当不屑一顾。

The IFS analysis is relatively simple. Debt as a share of national income is at its highest since the early 1960s. Taxes are close to the record level reached in the aftermath of the second world war. Spending has increased by more in the past five years than ever before under a Conservative government.

财政研究所的分析相对简单。债务占国民收入的比例达到了自20世纪60年代初以来的最高水平。税收接近二战后达到的创纪录水平。在过去的五年里,开支的增长超过了保守党政府执政时期的任何时候。

Yet, the thinktank says, public services – everything from the NHS to prisons – are visibly struggling. And fresh cuts of between £10bn and £20bn will be on the way for unprotected Whitehall departments if the party elected on July 4 wants to reduce debt and avoid raising taxes.

然而,智囊团说,公共服务——从国家医疗体系到监狱——都在明显挣扎。如果7月4日当选的保守党希望减少债务并避免增税,那么不受保护的白厅部门将面临100亿至200亿英镑的新一轮削减。

The Conservative plan involves tax cuts of £17bn, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion, and by cutting £12bn from the welfare bill, mainly by slowing the increase in claims for disability benefit. The IFS says this equates to 1.6 million people losing an average of £7,500 a year each, and would be politically hard to achieve.

保守党的计划包括削减170亿英镑的税收,通过打击避税和逃税来支付,并从福利法案中削减120亿英镑,主要是通过减缓残疾救济金申请的增长。财政研究所表示,这相当于160万人平均每人每年损失7500英镑,这在政治上很难实现。

Judging by the opinion polls, there is no prospect of the Conservatives forming the next government and the only question is the scale of the party’s defeat. Inevitably, the focus in the last week or so of the campaign will be on what Labour will do. The IFS is sceptical that faster than expected growth will lead to higher tax revenues and so spare Rachel Reeves from making tough choices.

从民意调查来看,保守党组建下届政府的希望渺茫,唯一的问题是该党失败的程度。不可避免的是,在最后一周左右的竞选活动中,工党将采取什么行动将成为焦点。财政研究所怀疑,比预期更快的经济增长将带来更高的税收收入,从而使雷切尔·里夫斯免于做出艰难的选择。

Stronger growth would certainly help. The IFS says that if growth exceeds the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts by 0.5 percentage points a year – which it says is unlikely but not inconceivable – that would strengthen the public finances by £30bn annually. But it says Reeves also needs to plan for what she might do if growth turns out to be 0.5 points weaker.

更强劲的经济增长肯定会有所帮助。财政研究所表示,如果英国经济增速每年比预算责任办公室的预测高出0.5个百分点——它表示这不太可能,但并非不可想象——这将使公共财政每年增加300亿英镑。但该机构表示,里夫斯还需要为如果经济增长放缓0.5个百分点,她可能会为做些什么制定计划。

The shadow chancellor says sticking to the fiscal rules is non-negotiable, but as the IFS director, Paul Johnson, pointed out, to prevent debt from growing in the absence of a sizeable growth dividend, the next government would need to run a primary budget surplus: collecting more in tax than it spends on everything apart from debt interest.

影子财政大臣表示,遵守财政规则是没有谈判余地的,但正如财政研究所所长保罗·约翰逊所指出的那样,为了防止债务在没有可观增长红利的情况下膨胀,下届政府需要实现基本预算盈余:除了债务利息外,征收的税收将超过其在所有方面的支出。

This is rare in the UK and, says Johnson, “not necessarily a recipe for a happy electorate”. The last chancellor to run a primary surplus was Gordon Brown a quarter of a century ago.

这在英国很少见,约翰逊表示,“这未必是让选民高兴的秘诀”。上一位实现基本盈余的财政大臣是25年前的戈登·布朗。

Johnson thinks it unlikely that Reeves will cut spending, which leaves the choice between tweaking the fiscal rules, raising taxes by more than already laid out in the manifesto, or both. As the IFS notes, opposition parties that win elections tend to raise taxes in their first budget.

约翰逊认为里夫斯不太可能削减开支,这就留下了一个选择,要么调整财政规则,要么在宣言中已经提出的基础上增加税收,要么两者兼而有之。正如财政研究所指出的那样,赢得选举的反对党倾向于在他们的第一个预算中提高税收。