Author Archives: Mike Bird

Opinion: The Welfare Uprating Bill is a mistake; this is not economic liberalism

I was saddened to hear during the Autumn Statement that increases in many benefits would be capped at 1% for the next three years, particularly because I was in total agreement with David Laws when he opposed a similar policy last year. I was also disappointed that after months of party figures grandstanding about any welfare cuts being contingent on reformed property taxes, no higher council tax bands were announced.

Abandoning indexation for benefits does not just affect them in the year that benefits are not indexed. To use Job Seeker’s Allowance as an example, if inflation is 3% …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 21 Comments

Opinion: bashing bankers the economically liberal way – risk and responsibility

Just before conference I caught some largely unreported news on a Private Member’s Bill, put to the Commons by Steve Baker MP, founder of the Cobden Centre, and one of the Conservative 2010 intake.

My usual response to scant coverage of a Conservative backbencher’s bills would be thankful, but in this case, the bill highlights something that has received astonishingly little attention: reforming the personal liability of directors. We’ve rested on the important points of how to discharge shares in effectively state-owned institutions, and how to increase lending to struggling businesses. On these issues Stephen Williams …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 11 Comments

Competition and Universities: building new Higher Education policy

We took a severe beating in late 2010, from which we’re still not entirely recovered. From here, we can go in two directions: we can build a Higher Education policy that we can be proud of, or we can leave our policy in the pieces it’s currently in, and prepare for 2015’s brutal assault.

It’s hard to see a treasured policy fall apart under the pressure of electoral and financial reality. We all know there are positive aspects of the increase in graduate contributions that we can claim as ours: a Labour or Tory government would not have faced the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim Hill 17th Nov - 8:55pm
    Penrith is even better when you consider it's a LD/Con split Ward. 2 to 1. Arguably entirely because we only stood 2 candidates in a...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 17th Nov - 8:30pm
    'It might just be worth checking that the will of the people supports the reality of Brexit as opposed to the idea of it' So...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 17th Nov - 8:24pm
    Peter Martin - It is also worth pointing out that I believe Varoufakis suggests that the UK should pursue the Norway option. My feeling from...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Nov - 7:35pm
    @Katharine, I can't speak for the people of Greece. I'd just refer you to what Yanis Varoufakis has to say on the matter. I'm a...
  • User AvatarAllan Brame 17th Nov - 7:35pm
    No doubt some people will be happy to accept any deal David Davis manages to cobble together. Others would prefer to have the chance to...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 17th Nov - 6:59pm
    Hi, Peter, it seems to me that a majority of the British people probably doesn't want to join the Euro, and I understand (I think!)...