3% by 2014

The “3% of GDP by 2014” target for the national finances has become a “universal truth” with little or no debate.

(1) Why is it 3%? Why not 0%, 2% or 4%?

(2) Why is it 2014? Why not 2013 or 2015?

(3) Exactly who proposed “3% by 2014” in the first place? My bet is the European Commission…

(4) If it was the Commission, were these geniuses anywhere to be seen when we spiralled out of control; specifically:

  • What happened to the Stability & Growth Pact?
  • How many times was it broken and by whom?
  • Where were the efforts to rein us in?