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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  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:33am
    Martha Lane Fox writes in the New European 24/7-4/8/2016, pages 1 & 15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Lane_Fox
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:25am
    Theresa May's announcement about "modern slavery" is on the front pages. £33 million from the aid budget will be used in source countries. There is...
  • User AvatarDavid Pocock 31st Jul - 10:20am
    I do not know if it is my European eyes not understanding american culture but I am put off and do not think Hils can...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:07am
    Cathy Come Home is on BBC4 at 22:00 on Sunday 31/7/2016. "Landmark 1960s TV play about a young couple and their children who are overtaken...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 31st Jul - 9:30am
    @rightsaidfredfan - so the time to vote to leave the EU would be at the time that Turkey was accepted to become a full member,...
  • User AvatarSteve Treveth 31st Jul - 9:15am
    The Green Party candidate is better than either but she, alas, does not have the financial support/investment of the corporations and the banks nor the...