The Chancellor receives representations on a wide range of matters, including on the role of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.
We are cautious about that because, as a Labour spokesman in the House of Lords said in 2010:
“the OBR should not become embroiled in political controversy.”
I understand that the Labour party is seeking ways to improve its economic credibility. I suggest that a better, more obvious approach would be to change the shadow Chancellor.
After those answers, we still do not know why the Chancellor is resisting our proposal to allow the OBR to audit all party spending and tax plans ahead of the general election. We know that in private the Chief Secretary agrees that it is a good idea, so what is the Chancellor so afraid of?
In 2010, the noble Lord Eatwell said that
“we on this side agree…to confine the activities of the OBR to consideration of the impact of government policies alone. I am sure it is right that the OBR should not become embroiled in political controversy.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 8 November 2010; Vol. 722, c. 16-17.]
I think he made a reasonable point.