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 AvatarNick Perry 20th Oct - 9:59pm
    John Tilley. David Rogers' winning ways are not in doubt. I am just not sure of the value of making the comment he made on...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 20th Oct - 9:56pm
    "What do you mean by ‘speaking their national language’?" No more Saxons in the UK unless they can prove fluency in Welsh.
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 20th Oct - 9:55pm
    Lol! Stuart your comment made me chuckle. They are only ideas, continue the debate and I'll feed back tomorrow.
  • User Avatarstuart moran 20th Oct - 9:50pm
    Look, the free movement of people is enshrined in the Treaty of Rome and is a natural consequence of the development of the EU We...
  • User AvatarJames Baker 20th Oct - 9:45pm
    Great article Mick, I hope people are listening! I'm totally against handing these new City Regions and Combined authorities more powers when they are not...
  • User Avatarstuart moran 20th Oct - 9:37pm
    Eddie Sammon What do you mean by 'speaking their national language'? I think again we would see a repatriation of most Brits living in the...