Blog

Banking needs a fresh wave of competition

Adam Memon - 03 July 2015 - Economy

When Metro Bank was set up in 2010, it was the first time in 150 years that a new company had been granted a banking licence. Many of the problems in the banking sector derive from a lack of transparency, choice and competition. The number of major UK banks fell ...

Britain must be committed to NATO. Our security depends on it

Adam Memon - 02 July 2015 -

The security and freedom of European nations ultimately rests upon a strong and effective NATO. The Article 5 treaty obligation ensures the common defence of all NATO nations and has so far worked in protecting the alliance. However, NATO only retains its strength if its defence capacity remains credible. Approximately ...

Household Incomes, Taxes and Benefits

Adam Memon - 30 June 2015 - Economy

Yesterday we published an Economic Bulletin which examined new ONS data on household incomes, taxes and benefits. Amongst other things, the ONS data showed that 51.5% of households are receiving more from the State (in cash benefits and benefits-in kind) than they are paying in taxes. Cash benefits of course ...

Europe must wean itself off Russian gas. Start in Lancashire

Adam Memon - 29 June 2015 - Energy

Today’s decision by Lancashire County Council to block shale gas exploration at the Preston New Road site is a terrible mistake. The economic, environmental and geopolitical arguments are overwhelmingly in favour of fracking. Shale gas could provide thousands of jobs, boost productivity, increase our energy security and all at a ...

Time to get fracking. No more excuses

Adam Memon - 28 June 2015 - Energy

In a recent Economic Bulletin, we highlighted the challenges facing the UK oil and gas sector. Maturing fields are pushing up decommissioning costs, which tightens margins especially in the context of much lower prices. Alongside this, heavy taxation of the sector remains a burden despite some positive steps take in ...

Can SMEs solve the productivity puzzle?

Ranjavati Banerji - 26 June 2015 - Economy

Understanding the SME productivity puzzleBritain’s productivity continues to lag behind even as the economy continues its recovery. A report by New Policy Institute demonstrates the productivity puzzle vis-à-vis the size of businesses. Previously, firms of all sizes were gaining productivity, yet post recession, while large companies show signs of improvement, ...

Donít forget non-wage labour costs

Adam Memon - 24 June 2015 - Economy

There are some quite important changes happening in the labour market. It is clear that we are seeing a considerable tightening with the employment rate at a record high and unemployment falling to 5.5%. Unemployment is continuing to fall although at a slower pace and it may be that we ...

Child Poverty figures

Adam Memon - 24 June 2015 - Economy

Tomorrow’s release of child poverty figures are expected to see an increase in relative poverty. Whilst this may be disappointing, it is important to remember that the relative poverty measure is more a measure of inequality than poverty. To get a real measure of poverty we need to look more ...

Privatise the Green Investment Bank

Adam Memon - 24 June 2015 - Environment

Last year we called for the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank, so it is good to read in the Financial Times today that the Government is considering how this can be done. Privatisation would completely free the Bank to leverage private capital and become an even more serious provider ...

Tax reform is needed to raise productivity

Adam Memon - 24 June 2015 - Tax

Yesterday I attended an event held at the Social Market Foundation with Paul Johnson the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies discussing tax policy. He was certainly interesting and there was much that he said with which I agreed. For example, our increasing dependence on a highly mobile elite ...

Voting thresholds wonít stop unions abusing their power

Raiyan Azmi - 23 June 2015 - Employment regulation

The gap between recent union rhetoric and the facts on the ground is staggering. The Trade Unions Bill announced last month means that any strikes will legally require support from 40% of eligible voters on a 50% turnout. Mike Whelan, leader of London Underground drivers union Aslef, reacted to the ...

Reforming apprenticeships will boost skills development

Adam Memon - 19 June 2015 - Economy

The Government recently announced measures which are aimed to raise the status of apprenticeships alongside reaching its aim of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. These measures involve, for example, taking legal action against firms which are running bogus schemes. Apprenticeships are not just a marketing tool or a helpful ...

Mass privatisation for mass private ownership

Adam Memon - 18 June 2015 - Economy

The privatisation of state owned assets is not only a useful way to raise revenue but has historically injected more competition into markets. This frees the employees of state owned assets to be more creative and is likely to lead to greater innovation and productivity enhancing changes. Harriet Maltby’s recent ...

How UKTI can up its game

Adam Memon - 18 June 2015 - Economy

Given the large trade deficit which Britain faces, attention has inevitably turned towards what the Government is doing to hold back or support export growth. United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI)  is the trade support body which provides advice to British companies which are looking to start exporting and to ...

Britain must do more to increase cybersecurity

Adam Memon - 18 June 2015 - General

Big businesses have traditionally been the most common victims of cybercrime and economic espionage perpetrated through cyberspace. The problem is clearly getting worse because the average cost of the most severe online security breaches for big business has more than doubled just over the last year to reach £1.46 million. ...