Author Archives: Graeme Cooke

Independent View: What now for housing policy?

As the coalition approaches the halfway point of the Parliament, Liberal Democrats are in search of policies that demonstrate their distinctive contribution to government – especially on the crucial issue of growth. Pre-conference briefing suggests that leading party figures see affordable house building as a leading option. They are right to do so. It would boost demand, create jobs, and meet a pressing social need. The Tories are focused on reforming the planning system, but evidence suggests this is a tough political sell. Efforts to finance house building through clever Treasury wheezes that try to circumvent borrowing constraints have …

Posted in News and The Independent View | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Independent View: Housing Benefit reform needs liberal principle of localism

The Prime Minister’s recent suggestion that young people under the age of 25 might be barred from receiving Housing Benefit has re-ignited the debate about welfare reform. Talk of a further ‘benefits crackdown’ duly generated the positive headlines that Downing Street strategists were after, while opponents howled in apocalyptic objection to this latest attempt to control the benefits bill. Pretty soon, the political debate moved on, everyone having fulfilled their roles to perfection. Evil Tory bogeymen, tabloid headline writers, charity campaigners all did exactly what we would have expected them to do. Maybe the specific proposal will remerge in future …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged and | 5 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 11th Jul - 6:14pm
    Katharine, Sir James Mirrlees https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/24/sir-james-mirrlees-obituary was known for his work on optimal taxation theory and advocated a strong and well-funded welfare state. He chaired a...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 11th Jul - 5:52pm
    Just to note that I understand Michael was going to attend the South Central hustings this evening, so would not be able to reply to...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 11th Jul - 5:36pm
    Joseph, do our existing tax policies follow the advice of the Mirrlees review? Please remind us - though as you suggest the review of taxation...
  • User AvatarMatt McLaren 11th Jul - 5:16pm
    Welcoming the £1,000 bonus to keep on furloughed staff, really?! Firstly, this policy doesn't distinguish between those employers who were going to bring back staff...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 11th Jul - 5:14pm
    Jenny, fuel duty would be an obvious place to make a start as too is the under-taxation of capital gains and allowances like entrepreneurs’ relief....
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 11th Jul - 5:07pm
    repeal the smoking ban.