The UK's Economic Constitution

Project Details

Description

Tony Prosser is undertaking a project looking at the relationship between
public law and economic management. This involves examining the key
institutions of economic management and their interactions; for example,
the Treasury, the Bank of England, the new bodies to regulate financial
services and a number of smaller institutions such as the Office for
Budget Responsibility. It also examines the role of the EU and other
international organisations in shaping economic management, for example
in relation to state aids and fiscal policy. A number of areas are
examined in detail including taxation and government borrowing, public
expenditure allocation, monetary policy, financial services regulation,
industrial policy and procurement. Conclusions will be drawn on the
nature of the UK economic constitution. The project will be published as
a book by Oxford University Press in 2014.

Layman's description

This research examines how public law shapes the management of the economy in the UK, for example in relation to public spending, monetary policy, industrial policy and public procurement.

Key findings

1) The range of institutions dealing with economic policy is vast with limited arrangements for coordinating their activities or their scrutiny.
2) The spending review process attempts to give greater coherence to the allocation of resources, but is weak in terms of outside scrutiny.
3) The development of independent institutions such as the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England has provided useful alternative sources of ideas and criticism alongside core government.
4) The UK does not have substantive rules limiting deficits or debt as in many other countries, nor should it have.
5) The new arrangements for regulation of financial services do not avoid the risk of fragmentation experienced earlier, and there are still problems of the accountability of the Bank of England.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/10/101/10/13

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolGovernanceAndPublicServices