IMF Economic Outlook - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:10 pm on 31st January 2023.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Conservative 4:10 pm, 31st January 2023

My Lords, we ought to add a bit of balance to this discussion and note that the report ended with a comment that Britain was “on the right track”—not that we should place too much weight on the views of the IMF either way, because its record has not been too good. Has the Minister noticed a report from the BBC this morning that it is very worried that its interviewers, editors and staff are not sufficiently apprised of the technicalities and the understanding of modern economics and modern economic trends, and that it is going try to do something about it? Would she encourage it to do something? The impression that invariably pervades the morning programmes—not only on the BBC but others as well—in response to this kind of report is that everything is going wrong. Of course, there are things that need repairing, but the bias—not a political bias between left and right—is between pessimism and optimism, which nearly always comes out on the pessimistic side, so we have a lot to learn and we should encourage them to learn it.