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



Recent Comments

  • User Avatargavin grant 20th Sep - 12:37pm
    Mike Bell has stood down as PPC for Weston super Mare
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 20th Sep - 12:34pm
    Oh Dear, only a few months to a General election and now the actions of three panicking politicians mean that I have got to get...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Sep - 12:33pm
    Jayne Mansfield I think you are right about the NHS, which is why it kept being mentioned in Scotland, Best of luck to Andy Graham....
  • User AvatarYorkshire Guidon 20th Sep - 12:30pm
    Couple of quick points I think you underestimate the resentment for Westminster parties which now exists in the Yorkshire. This was evidenced by the huge...
  • User AvatarIgor Sagdejev 20th Sep - 12:24pm
    The American model is not suitable for England's regions. The first 13 American states started out as separate entities, first ceding some power to the...
  • User AvatarPsi 20th Sep - 12:23pm
    Mr Wallace “I’m sorry if that came across as rude but I stand by it.” Don’t worry about sounding rude no one should read tone...