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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  • User Avatarexpats 27th May - 6:32pm
    He didn't oppose the Good Friday Agreement, he opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement a pre-cursor to the GFA, as did 6/8 parties in Northern Ireland. It...
  • User AvatarAndrew T 27th May - 4:42pm
    Excellent article.
  • User AvatarMichael BG 27th May - 4:19pm
    @ Matthew Huntbach I didn’t claim that the Iraq War was an attack on Islam nor did I suggest that Iraqis were like little children....
  • User AvatarMichael BG 27th May - 3:18pm
    I meant “deceased”.
  • User AvatarMichael BG 27th May - 3:13pm
    @ Jayne Mansfield “Michael may I just point out that dementia isn’t actually an illness.” My mother died from dementia, my recently decreased aunt had...
  • User AvatarAlan Depauw 27th May - 2:51pm
    The basic issue on which no-one seems to be challenging May, is why does her manifesto promise such misery? Why all the actual and relative...