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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarBen Midgley 2nd Sep - 3:26pm
    Hi Anne? Well firstly it's not either/or, but both/and - we are talking about refugees here, not our own welfare problems, but I do think...
  • User AvatarDavid Faggiani 2nd Sep - 3:26pm
    I just had back at the Conservative Manifesto 2015, to see what they promised on Lords Reform, if elected. It said: "While we still see...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 2nd Sep - 3:22pm
    Very well said Daniel. I remember having an online discussion with Caron and others years ago about how we could do more to help colleagues...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 2nd Sep - 2:58pm
    We might have to do something "old fashioned" and say women, children, elderly and disabled first. We really need to target the people at the...
  • User Avatartonyhill 2nd Sep - 2:55pm
    I'm not quite sure what Richard means by his comment, but my highlight as a young first time parliamentary agent was going round to John...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 2nd Sep - 2:40pm
    Thanks Andrew McC. Good point about the effective VAT rate. I still think the 20% gross rate is too high. In finance people partly base...