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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  • User AvatarMichael BG 3rd Jun - 2:34am
    Katharine, Charles Grey was also elected at by-election during the war (August 1941), after the Liberal MP Hugh Seely (who won the seat in 1935)...
  • User AvatarJohnMc 3rd Jun - 12:44am
    Came here after getting an email from Mike German inviting (presumably all remaining members in wales) to say, in one sentence, why we are looking...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 2nd Jun - 11:50pm
    Lorenzo, time will tell with Sir Keir Starmer. He has an interview in the Guardian today https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/02/keir-starmer-warns-pm-get-a-grip-or-risk-second-wave-of-coronavirus but it doesn't say much of real substance...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 2nd Jun - 11:35pm
    Peter, UBI may well be coming North of the border according to the Scottish Herald https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18471823.coronavirus---now-two-thirds-scots-support-universal-basic-income-poll-finds/ with 2/3rds of Scots and the SNP leader backing...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 2nd Jun - 11:16pm
    Joe David is correct, on Sir Keir Starmer as one to get on with often, and not compete with , things have changed,plus , as...
  • User AvatarWilliam Francis 2nd Jun - 11:16pm
    Looking back to the past enables us to build a better future. Much of our more radical policies such as the co-partneship in industry ideas...