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 AvatarJohn Peters 28th Oct - 3:49pm
    @AndrewR That sort of ignorance explains why people vote Lib Dem!
  • User Avatarexpats 28th Oct - 3:49pm
    No money; no 'sweetheart deal'....Oh, dear.... Nissan was THE test case of 'Brexit'....Do you really believe that, even if a blank-cheque had been left on...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Oct - 3:33pm
    Leon, well done . I too, have been thinking about this. My feeling is we also need a new campaign of celebration of Jewish culture...
  • User AvatarAndrewR 28th Oct - 3:18pm
    - John Peters The fall in the pound has cost us more than our total EU contributions over the last 40 years. Prices are already...
  • User Avatarfrankie 28th Oct - 3:18pm
    John Roffey I suggust you read https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/environment/environmental-protection/opinion/politicshome/80207/potentially-even-harder just a snippet Once we have ‘left’ the EU, we may well find it even harder than it...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Oct - 3:17pm
    This is excellent . I am a longstanding admirer of Lord Alderdice , and the Alliance Party , just yesterday , welcomed the new leader...