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 AvatarPeter 21st Nov - 6:41pm
    That post turned out to be more controversial than I expected (apart from the Heathrow bit which I know our luddite wing was going to...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 21st Nov - 6:40pm
    How can Cameron insist Clegg stays and what possible benefit would there be to Clegg in saving Cameron's neck. What is possible is that no-one...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 21st Nov - 6:34pm
    Should have been a red line not to be crossed and it is a betrayal of principles. I find myself in agreement with John and...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 21st Nov - 6:27pm
    @ Peter Chegwyn "Nick Clegg disappeared for four days after the Clacton debacle and he appears to have disappeared again." I accept that this is...
  • User AvatarJo Shaw 21st Nov - 6:27pm
    Internal exile used to exist here under Control Orders. When in January 2012 Control Orders were replaced with TPIMs (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) one...
  • User AvatarPeter 21st Nov - 6:22pm
    Where is Nick Clegg? Has anyone seen him on TV, heard him on radio?