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 …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 23rd Apr - 9:29pm
    @John Dunn What is your point?
  • User AvatarSuzanne Fletcher 23rd Apr - 9:25pm
    for John Dunn who says " To aid your thinking, remember that today is St Georges Day. For Ukip MEP think (St George), and for...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Apr - 9:11pm
    I'm just concerned as to the fact that there's apparently someone working in HQ who considers the welfare cap to be an achievement. Perhaps next...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 9:02pm
    Although there is significant support for Nick Clegg in the above comments - the true and final measure of a leader's qualities is his or...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 8:29pm
    When I was a member of the Party [resigned some months ago] I did contribute to the Members Forum and was surprised how few did...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 23rd Apr - 7:56pm
    Can someone 'moderate' my earlier comment - and for goodness sake done something about the filter that doesn't like any variant of fracking