Evaluate the case for cutting public expenditure rather than raising taxes as a means of reducing fiscal deficits.

871 words 4 pages
Evaluate the case for cutting public expenditure rather than raising taxes as a means of reducing fiscal deficits. [30]

A fiscal deficit is when a government's total expenditures exceed the tax revenues that it generates. A budget deficit can be cut by either reducing public expenditure or raising taxes. In this essay, I am going to analyse the benefits and costs of increasing tax rates to reduce fiscal deficits instead of cutting government expenditure.

First of all, if the government decides to cut current public expenditure, it will lead to a reduced quantity and quality of public goods and service. For example, closing NHS direct call centres down which results in lower living standard. Moreover as the spending
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If the corporation tax is to be increased, there will be disincentive for firms to locate in the UK, leading to less investment and corporation tax revenues. Additionally, an increase in the National Insurance may discourage firms taking more employers as the NI is paid per employee.

Secondly, if the government raises higher income by increasing indirect taxes for example VAT, it may also have problems. It shifts the SRAS curve to the left as the cost of production increases. And it may therefore push up the price level and reduce the level of output. Moreover, indirect taxes are regressive taxes, which impose a greater burden relative to the incomes on the poor than on the rich.

Thirdly, as the public sector is basically non-profit, their allocation of resources believed to be less efficient than the profit-making private sector firms. Therefore reducing public expenditure may lead to greater efficiency and productivity by for example removing unnecessary layer of management hence more effective communication and better service provided by the public sector.

Last but not least, the choices between the two possible ways and their effects depend on the macroeconomic situation- for example the unemployment rate and the size of the public sector. If the size of the public sector is small, the adjustment on government spending might not be very large and the effect on budget deficit wouldn’t be significant. If the unemployment rate is high,


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