In March 1981, 364 economists agreed to write to The Times arguing strongly against the then government's monetary and fiscal policy. However, the Thatcher government decided to ignore these voices and continue the pursuit of policies to defeat inflation and restore fiscal responsibility. To the opponents of the 364, this decision marked a turning point in British post-war economic history: every other post-war government had capitulated and returned to policies of reflation and direct control of prices and incomes in the face of intense political pressures when the going was tough. The 1981 Budget, which precipitated the letter, was also a turning point in other respects: from 1981 there was continual growth, falling inflation and eventually, employment growth. Arguably, the 1981 Budget set the scene for today's benign macro-economic outlook and political consensus in favour of stable prices and fiscal prudence.
"The 1981 Budget was undoubtedly a turning poitn in British macroeconomic policy-making. It stimulated a sharp controversy about the role of the fiscal policy in economic management, with 364 economists writing a letter to The Times in protest against the raising of £4 billion in extra taxes (about 2 per cent of the gross domestic product) in a recession. They warned that „present policies will deepen the depression“ and „threten ... social and political stability.“