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 AvatarDenis Loretto 2nd Jul - 7:48am
    Hearty congratulations to my former colleagues in Mole Valley. Excelsior!
  • User AvatarPaul Revell 2nd Jul - 7:05am
    Great to see so much progress here in York, especially in light of the GE setbacks and the EU referendum result. We all know the...
  • User AvatarDavid Pearce 2nd Jul - 12:45am
    Glenn, freedom of movement is an issue because Leave have made it an issue. We are in an insane position because they failed to explain...
  • User AvatarIain 2nd Jul - 12:30am
    'hile only a tiny minority of Leave voters are racists, they all need to take some responsibility' Why? I voted to leave the EU. The...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 2nd Jul - 12:11am
    "People who voted leave should be ashamed of themselves" The overwhelming majority of people who voted Leave are not racist and do not condone this...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 1st Jul - 11:55pm
    @ Chris Bertram. Well said. Migration is vital to the economic and social well-being of this country. Immigration policy needs to be generous in spirit,...