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 AvatarLorenzo Cherin 2nd May - 2:14am
    We shall miss this man as a measured and attractive man and personality , a man of intelligence and good humour , and the best...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 2nd May - 1:47am
    Very positive this , deserves to translate in votes at the ballot box ! Willie and the Labour and Conservative Leaders are all correct on...
  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 2nd May - 12:27am
    Good stuff, thanks Caron. Down here the Scottish coverage has been overshadowed by Labour self-destructing, again. I'm actually not complaining, lol.
  • User AvatarJim H 1st May - 11:57pm
    Yeah, your party voted for the Health & Social Care act voluntarily. You can talk about civilising effects all you like, but if you were...
  • User AvatarAndrew Colman 1st May - 11:29pm
    Why has there been nothing about this in the BBC whilst the press and BBC have given non-stop coverage to Ken Livingstones' remarks about whether...
  • User AvatarDJ 1st May - 11:24pm
    After Sturgeon's fantastic (dare I say "Clegg like"?) performance at the leaders debates one pundit suggested she was coming over so well because David Cameron...