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Greece can learn from Britain's fixed rate disasters

Andrew Alexander - 20 February 2015 - Europe

At least we are not part of the Eurozone – though it was a close run thing in 1997 and 2003 when two attempts were made to push us into the system with all the travails that would have involved.The British advice in today’s crisis is that Greece should somehow ...

There is still slack in the labour market

Adam Memon - 19 February 2015 - Economy

Yesterday’s labour market figures showed that the employment rate of 16-64 year olds has now reached a record high of 73.2%. This is quite a remarkable achievement and if we’re being picky, it is actually slightly higher than in February 2005 which was the last time it reached this rate ...

Welfare Dependency and the Size of the State

Adam Memon - 15 February 2015 - Economy

At the Autumn Statement in December last year, the Chancellor outlined his plans to reach an absolute budget surplus by 2018/19. In its latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the OBR forecasts that under that plan for deficit reduction, public spending will reach 35.2% of GDP. The Labour party has strongly ...

Will the OBR stop George Osborne throwing his chickens overboard?

Andrew Alexander - 11 February 2015 - Economy

We have some cause to be grateful to Robert Chote, Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (and what an awesome title that is!) How could we have managed without such a lofty personage in the past? Being responsible to MPs was not enough, Chancellor George Osborne decided in 2010, ...

We need competition in rail, not 'super-monopolies'

Tony Lodge - 09 February 2015 - Public Services

This article was originally posted on Conservative Home. For those of us who campaign for better services from the rail industry the announcement from the Competition and Markets Authority late last month was very welcome: “The CMA is to undertake a project to examine the scope for increasing competition in passenger rail ...

Miliband wants another tax on pensions

Adam Memon - 04 February 2015 - Tax

At PMQs today, Ed Miliband attacked the Government for what he described as a tax loophole for hedge funds. This was quite a misleading way to describe a strategic tax cut to boost the investment management industry and ultimately make it easier to generate returns for most people’s pensions. It ...

Capitalism is making the world a better place, but the stall of democratic freedom is a threat

Lewis Brown - 04 February 2015 - Foreign Policy

The excellent Freedom in the World report, published annually by Freedom House, is an important indicator of the state of liberty in the world. And its verdict this year is a damning, if unsurprising, indictment of increasingly reactionary states:“In a year marked by an explosion of terrorist violence, autocrats’ use ...

Yes, the World is becoming a better place

Adam Memon - 02 February 2015 - Economy

In a recent debate I had with David Graeber, the anthropologist who apparently came up with the phrase “We are the 99 per cent”, I quoted official figures showing big falls in extreme poverty and rises in life expectancy. His response was predictable but nonetheless disappointing. “All these figures are ...

Greece, the EU & NATO

Neil Barnett - 30 January 2015 - Europe

The election of the leftist Syriza-led government in Greece is potentially a turning point in the history of the EU. The Mexican standoff between Greece and its bailout creditors is just one manifestation of a profound challenge: how does Europe’s political, economic and security architecture withstand the election of a ...

Get British energy off the back burner

Tim Morgan - 27 January 2015 - Energy

As shown in a CPS report published yesterday, MPs are again struggling to understand how important it is that Britain remains able to keep the lights on. Now that we're in the election season, it is worth remembering that Labour should have ordered replacement nuclear capacity no later than 1999 ...

Risks to Growth: Eurozone, Productivity and Miliband

Adam Memon - 22 January 2015 -

Yesterday’s good labour market figures add to a sense of optimism about growth in 2015. Unemployment fell by 418,000 over the year to reach 5.8%, vacancies grew to 700,000 (the highest since 2001) and nominal wages grew by 1.7%. Meanwhile, E.ON, British Gas and Scottish Power have all announced cuts ...

Who needs inflation? Enjoy this temporary pause!

Andrew Alexander - 20 January 2015 - Economy

We have been warned. If we are not careful, inflation could fall further plunging us – horror of horrors! – into a period when the value of the pound in our pocket (or purse) stays stable, in other words no inflation. What is so worrying about that? A lot of ...

Why Ukraine matters

Neil Barnett - 20 January 2015 - Foreign Policy

After more than a year of the crisis in Ukraine, some people are asking how soon it can be brought to a close and we can return to business as usual with Russia. The French and Italians are both lobbying in Europe for sanctions on Russia to be eased, and ...

Spending cuts are still necessary and feasible

Adam Memon - 15 January 2015 - Economy

Last week, Flip Chart Rick responded to a blog I wrote before Christmas arguing that the spending plans outlined by the OBR and the Chancellor at the Autumn Statement are both necessary and feasible. I argued that debt interest payments are rising too high and that there is still scope ...

Some errors in Labourís rebuttal dossier

Adam Memon - 13 January 2015 -

Last week’s release of the analysis of Labour spending pledges prompted the party to publish its own document in response. This new document inevitably contains a number of errors. In particular, it repeatedly confuses “millions” for “billions” in its costings on page 14.  Here are a few other examples: Page 1: ...

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