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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: ...

How the state promotes unemployment

Andrew Alexander - 13 January 2015 - Employment regulation

The language is appropriately Orwellian. Under the general heading of Employment Safeguards, Westminster churns out rules which any honest person would label Employment Endangerment. Government has made providing jobs yet another hazard for the businessman. He has become all too well aware of the threat. There is always liable to ...

New year, old politics, for the Republican-led Congress

Stephen Michael MacLean - 12 January 2015 - US Politics

Hopes are high that a new Republican-led Congress will rein in the profligate spending of the Obama administration; sadly, Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner cautions dialling back expectations,  reporting ‘there are already troubling signs that Republicans are slipping back into their big-spending ways.’  If they want to continue in ...

Why the Saudis want the oil price to keep falling

Neil Barnett - 05 January 2015 - Energy

Since March we have suggested, and then witnessed, a Saudi-US policy of pushing down oil prices to rein in Russia. Nevertheless, Saudi motives in doing this have mystified many observers. On the face of it, this mystery ended on 22nd December when the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi gave a ...

Labour's poster is plainly wrong

Adam Memon - 04 January 2015 - Economy

Labour’s new poster which claims that the Conservatives are planning “to cut spending on public services back to the levels of the 1930s” is objectively wrong. The OBR clearly states on page 148 of the Economic and Fiscal Outlook that day-to-day spending on public services in 2019/20 will be at ...

The Green attack on home ownership

Adam Memon - 19 December 2014 - Public Services

The Green run council in Brighton and Hove has voted to apply for an exemption from the Right to Buy policy. As I argued on the Today programme on Radio 4 this week with Bill Randall, the Chair of the Housing Committee of the council, this would be a terribly ...

3 more charts for Ed Miliband

Adam Memon - 18 December 2014 - Economy

Last week, Ed Miliband gave a speech outlining his response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. It was an attempt to repair the damage caused by his disastrous conference speech and to reduce the Conservative lead in the polls for economic credibility.In his speech, Miliband accepted that deficit reduction was necessary for economic ...

Saudi Oil Weapon Bites On Russiaís Strategic Projects

Neil Barnett - 12 December 2014 - Foreign Policy

As I have argued since March, a Saudi-US policy of depressing oil prices combined with sanctions is the best way to push back at Russian revanchism. Recent updates have followed the arrival of these falling prices, but this update looks at the tangible effects of the policy.The effect on the ...

8 myths about spending cuts

Adam Memon - 11 December 2014 - Economy

1. Spending cuts will take us back to the 1930sIn the immediate aftermath of the Autumn Statement, much of the criticism came from those decrying the fact that total public spending will be 35.2% of GDP by 2020. Mark Ferguson over on LabourList called it a “nightmare vision” which would take ...

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