Tag Archives: chris giles

Labour’s VAT cut: bad economics and disingenuous politics

In the run-up to today’s county council elections, Ed Miliband has been taking to a wooden pallet in towns and villages around the UK, telling anybody who would listen about Labour’s plan to rescue the British economy by temporarily reversing the 2.5 percentage point increase in the rate of VAT.

Desperate, though, to avoid admitting this would involve a significant increase in borrowing, he’s been telling us that this would actually be a free tax cut because the economic growth that resulted from it would increase revenues by more than the upfront cost.

That unlikely-sounding claim was given short shrift by …

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Welfare: right policy, wrong reasons?

Many column inches have been filled with comment over the government’s decision to restrict a number of benefits and tax credits to increases of 1% over the next couple of years.

This piece (£), however, by the FT’s economics editor, Chris Giles, warrants a special mention, not least because it is makes some interesting points that nobody else seems to have done.

Here’s a (fairly lengthy) extract:

In any case, good evidence exists on living standards to assess the merits of restricting benefit uprating. According to the most recent year of data, 2010-11, the crisis has caused real household net incomes around the

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The Weekend Debate: Bank of England independence – an economic success story or a well-intentioned failure?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

The Liberal Democrat 1997 manifesto said the following:

We will turn the Bank of England into a UK Reserve Bank, free from political interference. We will charge the Bank with keeping inflation low and make it accountable to Parliament for achieving this goal.

Of course after Labour’s landslide victory in that election, one of Gordon Brown’s first decisions as chancellor was to borrow this Lib Dem policy and essentially transfer responsibility for monetary policy to the Bank of England.

Most Labour politicians look back on …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 20th Jul - 11:25pm
    It is sad when Lib Dems, like TCO who claim to believe in evidence based policy, blame Conference for the Tuition Fees policy and pretend...
  • User AvatarMike S 20th Jul - 11:24pm
    @ Michael BG Many thanks for your reply Michael. I suspect we may have slightly different views on the role of leadership. However the main...
  • User AvatarMerseyLib 20th Jul - 10:44pm
    We need to be very careful with our Brexit policy. Banging on about a second referendum didn't do us a lot of good in the...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 20th Jul - 10:16pm
    Fair point. Being in the EU as is is better than anything the Brexiteers have to offer.
  • User AvatarRob Renold 20th Jul - 10:11pm
    There seems to be a perception that the Liberal Party got nowhere before the SDP joined them. Not true. Opinion polls had us at over...
  • User AvatarNeil 20th Jul - 9:54pm
    @Allan Brame. The days when you fought for what you believed in on Merseyside County Council seem a very long time ago.