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 Avatarpetermartin2001 13th Feb - 3:06am
    @ Victor, Another way to look at this is to consider the creation of a new currency. Say the Greeks decided they were going to...
  • User AvatarNed Lamb 13th Feb - 2:06am
    Very much agree with you about trivialising words such as OCD. Recently I wrote to Channel 4 about their naming of their programme, Obsessive Compulsive...
  • User AvatarStephen Yolland 13th Feb - 1:49am
    I sincerely trust that Governance gets the attention it deserves both before the meeting and at it. Our party organisation shows every sign of being...
  • User Avatarmalc 13th Feb - 12:01am
    Merel I was commenting on the point you raised on how few women have been elected to the HofC's since 1918. As you know in...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 12th Feb - 11:59pm
    @Victor Grayson, There some information here on the current account. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/current-account But we need to bear in mind that the figures may not be entirely...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 12th Feb - 11:58pm
    @RC @petermartin2001 @Victor Grayson "Not to mention the fact that we are also effectively importing other countries’ unemployment. Plus we are paying for the improvement...