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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged | 16 Comments

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 AvatarTabman 18th Apr - 12:16pm
    It's nice to read all the mutual back slapping and Private Fraserisms boys. Stephen Hesketh. The Orange Book contained arguments by those well known crypto...
  • User AvatarTabman 18th Apr - 11:57am
    George Flaxman - Danny's a goner.
  • User AvatarJulian Gibb 18th Apr - 11:51am
    This plea for tactical voting to save LibDem seats avoids the real question...why are the voters deserting you. Winning a seat with tactical votes does...
  • User AvatarJack 18th Apr - 11:47am
    @Martin: The fact is that in the majority of households in the UK, the budgeting is done at the household level not at the individual...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 18th Apr - 11:43am
    Thanks for all the comments. I'm going to respond to Martin who challenged my argument head on observing that: "It is not evident to me...
  • User AvatarGlenn 18th Apr - 11:33am
    Philip. The Greens have picked up as many disaffected "lib dems" as "labour" voters. People really vote for policies for a variety of reasons. When...
Sat 25th Apr 2015