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
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJ Dunn 4th Dec - 2:17pm
    One extra point which I've mentioned before is the use of AI, (artificial intelligence). Health care,.. can broadly be sub-divided into Prevention [of ill health],...
  • User AvatarTynan 4th Dec - 2:08pm
    DJ; I can't speak for everywhere, but in most places I have lived, the police have a very well developed support plan for street sleepers....
  • User AvatarTynan 4th Dec - 2:03pm
    As others have said, good and timely article. I used to manage a small hostel in Worcester, and sadly the issue of homelessness is still...
  • User AvatarJ Dunn 4th Dec - 1:49pm
    David Wright Like you I'm fully aware of the political structure of Cuba, and the why's and wherefores of how extremely qualified people would rather...
  • User AvatarTynan 4th Dec - 1:47pm
    Gordon; I just don't sense any public appetite for your suggestion. Labour tried to initiate something similar, it was rejected out of hand. Also would...
  • User AvatarDJ 4th Dec - 1:43pm
    In recent weeks, though it's not just a recent thing, I have seen police quietly speaking to a homeless person. I don't know what they...