Author Archives: Toby Matthews

“There is a great deal of ruin in a nation” — But how much? And where is it?

When the Chancellor raises National Insurance, are the effects the same everywhere? We don’t know.  But we ought to — regional inequality in the UK is so stark that comparisons to reunified Germany bear out. If fiscal policy plays a role in this, we need to know ‘how much’ and ‘where’.

There’s very good reason to ask for answers: long-established economic theory holds that governments will create poverty through taxation on economic activity:

All economic principles must be tried and proved at the margin. On marginal land there is no surplus above non-land costs, hence there is no taxable

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 5 Comments

Opinion: The Economic Crisis is Now Political

Clacton-on-Sea is going nowhere… This is Britain on crutches. This is tracksuit-and-trainers Britain, tattoo-parlour Britain, all-our-yesterdays Britain- Matthew Parris, The Times

Matthew Parris’s dismissal of poor, coastal Essex adorned thousands of UKIP leaflets in Clacton. It served only to justify UKIP’s rout of the Tory party.

Inadvertently, Parris came close to the truth: Britain as a political entity almost ceased to exist in September. Despite the eventual result in Scotland, the strength of the yes vote saw victory in Glasgow, quadrupled the membership of the SNP and caused Scottish Labour to implode. The high turnout alone belied the modern complaint of political apathy.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 59 Comments

Opinion: Miliband, Piketty and the Liberal response

milibandThree weeks ago, Miliband crossed the Rubicon and entered the heartland of Tory ideology. His support for European-style longer and more secure tenancies — and by extension capping rent increases — runs roughshod over a hitherto post-Thatcherite consensus.

Grant Shapps led the Tory riposte with a quick and ludicrous barb: Labour were proposing “Venezuelan-style rent controls”. Most people won’t know the details of Venezuela’s housing policy, but will be sure it’s unlikely to be any worse than our own.

Times have changed. We can see this clearly in that most …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 45 Comments
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