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 AvatarRsf7 8th Feb - 9:09pm
    @petermartin2001 It doesn't matter what the lyrics are, you don't get to tell artists what they can and can't write and people what they can...
  • User AvatarLorenzo 8th Feb - 9:08pm
    The fact that you write a pleasant appraisal of a programme with no particular political or social content ,is welcome and of interest to me,...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 8th Feb - 9:04pm
    @David Evershed "The Top Gear audience are not offended by Clarkson and those that are should watch something else. Neither will the Top Gear audience...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 8th Feb - 8:48pm
    Hi "Ex Liberal" I don't agree with the Syria vote. 2 / 8 MPs voted against, reflecting the difficulty of the vote. However, while I...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 8th Feb - 8:48pm
    Well I blame Mary Jane for the death of an anonymous Halifax chorister on Ilkla Moor. The daft soft headed feller went a'courtin her without...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 8th Feb - 8:43pm
    Exactly Eddie. Spot on.