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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew Colman 25th Oct - 4:06pm
    Agree with the suggestion. The In/Out issue should be resolved ASAP to remove economic uncertainty. The tory promise of a 2017 is blatant electioneering to...
  • User AvatarAndrew Colman 25th Oct - 3:43pm
    £120 billion figure comes from http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/06/28/if-the-hmrc-tax-gap-data-was-right-why-did-george-osborne-so-obviously-contradict-it-in-his-budget-speech/ and http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/27/tax-evasion-how-much-does-it-cost-a-country says $100 is lost to the black economy. I accept its an estimate with a large error...
  • User Avatarsimon 25th Oct - 3:33pm
    Very nice. People criticise Nick for saying whatever he thinks it might take to garner votes, and for being not always being the most principled...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th Oct - 3:12pm
    The big problem is not how we do when we stand but that we dont stand at all in so many places. We have plenty...
  • User AvatarHelen Tedcastle 25th Oct - 2:52pm
    Matthew Huntbach, ‘ What have all these protestors actually achieved in terms of building a political alternative that wins votes? Nothing.’ I don't know whether...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Oct - 2:16pm
    Andrew, so your answer to economic prosperity is to introduce a farmers tax? The LVT. £120 billion of tax avoidance? Well, this figure isn't true....