Project Fear's Brexit predictions were wrong by £100 billion, new report says

Anna Mikhailova
George Osborne, the former Chancellor who oversaw Project Fear - AFP

The Treasury’s predictions during the lead-up to the EU referendum were wrong to the tune of £100 billion, according to a new report.

It  calls the Project Fear campaign, spearheaded by the former chancellor George Osborne, as a  “giant error” and a “gross miscarriage of government”.

Mr Osborne’s “scary rhetoric about a return of the Great Recession now looks preposterous,” said the study’s author, Timothy Congdon, a leading economist.

The difference between the Project Fear forecast and the reality was 4.6 per cent of GDP, according to the report, which will be published in the May edition of Standpoint magazine.

“Instead of employment falling by hundreds of thousands, it has risen by hundreds of thousands," it said.

"Instead of house prices going down, they have gone up. Instead of the public finances lurching more heavily into deficit, they have been better than at any time since the Great Recession, making the prospect of an eventual surplus far from silly.”

The report says the campaign's errors were down to “a mixture of malice and ignorance, of wicked politics and trashy economics. As usual with other policy blunders in recent decades, it was more cock-up than conspiracy”.