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 AvatarGlenn 1st Oct - 2:51am
    Jonathon' I never said they did. I'm just arguing that it did no good for either us or Libya. However, I would suggest the number...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 1st Oct - 1:48am
    Thanks @Lorenzo - I used to live in Syria too (about half of the time between 2004-2007). In many ways it was a hopeful place....
  • User Avatarchris_sh 1st Oct - 1:40am
    @Ian Hurdley " ... involves activating Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. That action would overturn primary legislation." If the treaty as passed in...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 1st Oct - 1:04am
    It is a failure of past complacency too, putting it mildly, always the present leaders of the free world get the most criticism, something Jonathan,...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 1st Oct - 12:54am
    Kaine is a good man with a solid reputation of humanitarian effort going back to his youth as a volunteer in Honduras, this piece shows...
  • User AvatarGlenn 1st Oct - 12:14am
    Jonathon; You said "I think had this objective been pursued things would be less bad than they are now". Well of course most Libyans don't...