Headlines: September 5th, 2000

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) is to stage a seminar today (September 5, 2000) in which it is expected that a leading academic will call for the Government to hand investment in transport to the private sector. Just as the Government’s ten year Transport Plan gets under way, Professor Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institute in Washington DC will be arguing that public investment and interference in public transport development does more harm than good. He has already undertaken a study in America that suggests private sector innovators would perform better.The seminar, at the IFS building in Ridgmount Street in London, links to one of a series of surveys from distinguished academics covering the economic issues in public spending. The IFS says that Government spending accounts for about forty per cent of national income. The purpose of the surveys is to investigate the justification for public spending, its effectiveness, and the relationship with the public and private sector on such investment. Professor Winston’s seminar presentation is a preliminary version of a paper that will eventually be published in the publication Fiscal Studies, produced by the IFS.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is a research institute that exists to provide quality economic analysis independent of government, political party or other vested interest. Link: www.ifs.org .