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Iceland rips up the rulebook on central banking?

Owen Brady - 17 April 2015 - Economy

Iceland has had a pretty tough time, recently.Following the collapse of its banking sector in 2008, unemployment tripled and the country was forced to accept a bailout from the IMF. To add insult to injury, the country’s McDonald’s franchise shut up shop, leaving the last remaining McDonald’s meal in the ...

When a balanced budget means more borrowing

Adam Memon - 16 April 2015 - Economy

It is quite common for politicians to distinguish borrowing for current spending and borrowing for investment purposes. The Conservatives and UKIP propose to reach an absolute budget surplus by 2018/19 and Labour proposes to achieve a budget balance on current spending by 2020. When politicians only say that they want ...

Extending right-to-buy will transform the prospects of low income families

Adam Memon - 15 April 2015 - Economy

This article originally appeared in City A.M., Wednesday 15 April 2015. The centrepiece of the Conservative Party manifesto, unveiled yesterday, was a significant expansion of the right-to-buy scheme. Giving families the ability to own their own home is a wonderful thing, and extending the scheme to housing associations, as the Conservatives ...

Whatever happened to free-market UKIP?

Owen Brady - 09 April 2015 - Politics

Looking back at an interview of Nigel Farage at the IEA in 2010, it was striking to see him give such a direct, unambiguous, principled argument in favour of free trade:“If we are going to be a successful nation …, part of the 21st-century global economy, then protectionism [is] a ...

Increasing the Personal Allowance is still a powerful tool

Adam Memon - 08 April 2015 - Tax

It was mildly amusing to see the Lib Dems recently complaining that the Conservatives were claiming the credit for having increased the Personal Allowance. They seem to have forgotten that it was the Centre for Policy Studies which first proposed increasing the Personal Allowance to £10,000 back in 2001. This ...

Current Account Deficit - Reasons not to worry

Owen Brady - 08 April 2015 - Economy

The UK economy has produced some record-breaking data, according to an ONS bulletin released last week. In 2014, the current-account deficit was at its largest, by a certain measure, since records began in 1948. It was valued at 5.5% of GDP, or £98bn. A record-breaking deficit may inspire concern – ...

Time for TEE - The unification of pensions and ISAs

Michael Johnson - 07 April 2015 - Economy

Today, two disparate worlds The savings landscape is characterised by a fundamental schism.  Saving within a pensions framework provides tax relief on the way in (“EET”), whereas subscriptions to New ISAs (“ISAs”) are made with post-tax income, but withdrawals are tax-free.[1]  Consequently, ISAs are “TEE”.                                                                                                      Over the last ...

Restricting Zero Hours Contracts won't increase job security

Adam Memon - 01 April 2015 - Economy

The proposal today from Labour to give people who have worked on a zero-hours contract for 12 weeks the right to a regular contract is interesting but ultimately misguided. A flexible labour market is vital for a dynamic economy and it has kept unemployment lower than it otherwise would have ...

5 mistakes from Lucy Powell

Adam Memon - 30 March 2015 - Economy

Yesterday, Andrew Neill interviewed Lucy Powell, Labour’s campaign coordinator, on the Sunday Politics. It was certainly quite a tense exchange with Powell accusing Neill of conducting a “Paxo-style interview.” However, it is not usually a good sign when a politician complains about tough interview questions and is unable to provide ...

An arbitrary profit cap won't help the NHS

Adam Memon - 27 March 2015 - Healthcare

There is a certain irony that Ed Miliband chose the site of the 2012 London Olympics today to condemn the growth of markets and competition in the provision of healthcare in the UK. The Olympics Games, of course, is well known for its lack of competition.Miliband proposed introducing a cap ...

The genius of America’s founding culture sustains her still

Stephen Michael MacLean - 27 March 2015 - US Politics

Stephen Michael MacLean represents the Disraeli-Macdonald Institute for Organic Toryism and tweets as @OrganicTory. Anyone seeking an encapsulation of what faces American voters when they next head to the polls in the presidential election of 2016 — and, indeed, for British voters in the May general election — would do well to ...

Rejoice, the World is becoming a better place

Adam Memon - 25 March 2015 -

This article was originally published in KCL's Perspectives magazine. In a recent debate I had on the BBC World Service (CPS, 2015) with David Graeber, the anthropologist who apparently came up with the phrase “We are the 99 percent,” I quoted official figures showing big falls in extreme poverty and rises in life ...

Zero inflation is good news. For now.

Adam Memon - 24 March 2015 - Economy

Today’s news that inflation has fallen to zero, the lowest since current records began, is good news. This does mean that the UK is now likely to see a period of deflation in the coming months. The closest comparable data suggests that the last time the UK experienced deflation was ...

The red herring of departmental spending cuts

Adam Memon - 23 March 2015 - Economy

In its latest labour market update, the ONS announced that the UK’s employment rate had reached a record high of 73.3%. This latest statistic reflects the strong performance of the labour market generally with youth unemployment, long term unemployment and part-time employment all on downward trajectories. In addition, the British ...

Radical reform of the North Sea fiscal regime is essential

Angeliki Terpou - 18 March 2015 - Economy

The collapse in oil prices that we have seen since the latter half of last year has helped to push down inflation across developed economies; in the UK for example, CPI has fallen to an historic low of 0.3%. However, the key negative consequence of the fall in the oil ...

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