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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  • User AvatarFiona 6th Dec - 7:45pm
    @Guy, are you aware that UKIP, like the Tories, decided not to stand so they could support Goldsmith? They did it long before the Greens...
  • User AvatarMartin 6th Dec - 7:33pm
    Dunne: Read Hume on miracles.
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 6th Dec - 7:33pm
    I was going to make a donation, but the data required and presumed consents associated with the dd form put me off. Paypal would be...
  • User AvatarMike S 6th Dec - 7:28pm
    @John Peters Bit harsh John. Think many supporters of the Lib Dem's - me included, don't think this way at all, in fact very much...
  • User AvatarFiona 6th Dec - 7:26pm
    The very fact that the Greens decided to stand down without taking a bung, suggests this is a red-herring. I think it made absolute sense...
  • User AvatarJ Dunn 6th Dec - 7:19pm
    Martin To avoid solicitors letters dropping through your letterbox,.. on foolish comments like "it is more likely that Guido was offered a bung to concoct...