Wednesday, 29 August 2012

midata, the loneliest initiative in Whitehall – 5

BIS have no communicable reason whatever
to support their contention that midata would expand the economy

Giving people access to their transaction data will cause the UK economy to grow. That is the logic behind midata according to the department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

It may seem obvious to you that the argument is valid. If you're a mooncalf.

But it isn't obvious to David Miller.

David Miller is an economist at BIS. He attended the 9 August 2012 open forum on midata and was asked what reason there is to believe that accessing our transaction data would result in an expanded economy.

Properly brought up, he answered truthfully: "obviously there would be costs at first, setting up midata, and running costs thereafter, and the expected competition could have the effect of driving prices down but the general feeling is that in the end the economy would grow as a result". By how much? "It's very difficult if not impossible to say what the macroeconomic effect would be."

No notes were taken and Mr Miller's words here are paraphrased but the implication is clear – they're flying blind. BIS have no communicable reason whatever to support their contention that midata would expand the economy.

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