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 Avatarpetermartin2001 27th May - 11:19am
    Tom, It's good that you've taken an interest in politics. I'd like to be able to join the Lib Dems too. They'd probably have me...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 27th May - 10:57am
    Welcome, Tom. Just one point : " When my Labour-run council voted unanimously to close a respite centre for the severely disabled, it shot down"....
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 27th May - 10:56am
    "suzanne fletcher 21st Jan '16 - 12:05am no info on number of houses targeted as most are not reported. 2 reasons. 1. people are very...
  • User AvatarPsi 27th May - 10:50am
    The other issue that is the simplistic narrative if it has any impact at all will simply hamper getting more women in politics.
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 27th May - 10:44am
    There seems to be some confusion about the role of Headteachers and local authorities from the usual suspects who place themselves 'to the right' of...
  • User AvatarPsi 27th May - 10:43am
    Mike Falchikov “US or Russia, do you really think that there are many people in those countries (or any foreign countries for that matter)taking an...