Left Watch

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Which Left-wing economist predicted that unemployment would be four or five million by now?

By Tim Montgomerie
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Q. Which stimulus-supporting economist predicted that unemployment might reach four or even five million under the Conservatives?

A. David Blanchflower, the Twittering economist who can't see a Keynesian expansionary deficit without wishing it was even larger.

Professor Blanchflower made his wildly inaccurate prediction nearly four years ago. My emphasis:

"If large numbers of public sector workers, perhaps as many as a million, are made redundant," Blanchflower said, "and there are substantial cuts in public spending in 2010, as proposed by some in the Conservative Party, five million unemployed or more is not inconceivable."

Treasury minister Sajid Javid MP reminded Professor Blachflower of his faulty crystal ball in remarks made to The Australian newspaper:

"In fact we've trimmed the public sector by 450,000 people, but far from collapsing, the private sector has created 1.25m jobs in the past three years and total employment, at 29.3m people, is at a record high."

This is not the first time that Javid and Blanchflower have clashed.

The Australian's essay by Adam Creighton - "Inside the Osborne supremacy" - is well worth a read. It gives a bird's eye view of the Coalition's economic measures and record.