El keynesiano oculto de Gran Bretaña

LONDRES – Existe un creciente temor entre los especialistas financieros de Gran Bretaña de que el ministro de Hacienda George Osborne no esté tan decidido como dice a reducir el gasto público. Osborne se impone fechas límite para hacer equilibrar las cuentas, pero cuando llega la fecha, con las cuentas todavía sin cuadrar, simplemente fija una nueva fecha.

Consideremos alguna aritmética fiscal. Cuando Osborne fue nombrado ministro en 2010, el déficit presupuestario -gasto menos ingresos- era de 153.000 millones de libras (239.000 millones de dólares), o 10,2% del PIB. Osborne prometió que para 2015 el déficit estaría en apenas 37.000 millones de libras, o 2,1% del PIB -el equivalente de equilibrar el gasto y los ingresos actuales-. Por el contrario, se espera que el déficit para 2014-2015 sea de 97.000 millones de libras. La conclusión del acto de malabarismo de Osborne se pospuso hasta el presupuesto de 2019-2020.

Osborne habla de la necesidad de recortar el gasto, pero sus acciones dicen otra cosa. Si bien prometió haber reducido el gasto en más de 100.000 millones de libras a esta altura, recortó menos de la mitad de esa cifra, extendiendo simplemente unos años más su programa de recortes quinquenal. En consecuencia, Osborne, el alumno modelo de la austeridad británica, está empezando a parecerse a un keynesiano oculto.

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