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 Avatarpaul barker 31st Oct - 1:14pm
    It looks to me that Clegg & The EU are wrong about this. Clegg is right that we should be looking for long-term solutions but...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 31st Oct - 1:02pm
    RC Your claim that --"..Wealth is not being “sucked into” London. It is being generated there by people’s skill and hard work .." is simply...
  • User AvatarChrisB 31st Oct - 12:55pm
    >It seems to me that Clegg is simply factually incorrect I get that feeling a lot. He's going with the whole "we like to have...
  • User AvatarDav 31st Oct - 12:42pm
    No Benj, London does not act like a “black hole”, because it spews out vast amounts more in tax revenue than it receives in total...
  • User AvatarDav 31st Oct - 12:34pm
    Because they are not a charity, and are already charging as much as the market will bear No they're not, they're charging the market clearing...
  • User AvatarNick Thornsby 31st Oct - 12:21pm
    It seems to me that Clegg is simply factually incorrect. My understanding is that the Italian government had voluntarily taken steps to have a much...