Author Archives: Mike Bird

Opinion: The Welfare Uprating Bill is a mistake; this is not economic liberalism

I was saddened to hear during the Autumn Statement that increases in many benefits would be capped at 1% for the next three years, particularly because I was in total agreement with David Laws when he opposed a similar policy last year. I was also disappointed that after months of party figures grandstanding about any welfare cuts being contingent on reformed property taxes, no higher council tax bands were announced.

Abandoning indexation for benefits does not just affect them in the year that benefits are not indexed. To use Job Seeker’s Allowance as an example, if inflation is 3% …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 21 Comments

Opinion: bashing bankers the economically liberal way – risk and responsibility

Just before conference I caught some largely unreported news on a Private Member’s Bill, put to the Commons by Steve Baker MP, founder of the Cobden Centre, and one of the Conservative 2010 intake.

My usual response to scant coverage of a Conservative backbencher’s bills would be thankful, but in this case, the bill highlights something that has received astonishingly little attention: reforming the personal liability of directors. We’ve rested on the important points of how to discharge shares in effectively state-owned institutions, and how to increase lending to struggling businesses. On these issues Stephen Williams …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 11 Comments

Competition and Universities: building new Higher Education policy

We took a severe beating in late 2010, from which we’re still not entirely recovered. From here, we can go in two directions: we can build a Higher Education policy that we can be proud of, or we can leave our policy in the pieces it’s currently in, and prepare for 2015’s brutal assault.

It’s hard to see a treasured policy fall apart under the pressure of electoral and financial reality. We all know there are positive aspects of the increase in graduate contributions that we can claim as ours: a Labour or Tory government would not have faced the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRuth Bright 28th May - 12:46pm
    Not as much fun as Nick Clegg and Brian Blessed on This Week!
  • User Avatartonyhill 28th May - 12:30pm
    If when you are canvassing you can no longer smile at a voter who says "NO!" then pack it in for the evening. There's no...
  • User AvatarStuart 28th May - 12:29pm
    No, I am not Stuart Monk, though I wish I had his money. The exchange you quote is the one I was alluding to. Jomast...
  • User AvatarGlenn 28th May - 12:14pm
    Stuart, I am a member of the public by the way.
  • User AvatarStuart 28th May - 12:01pm
    That last post should have ended "2027" of course. As for the death of the BBC not having a negative impact on the sector as...
  • User AvatarStuart 28th May - 11:52am
    @Glenn There's no point debating what you think the BBC is or ought to be. The BBC will continue to be whatever the public want...