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Blogs by Ryan Bourne

Ryan joined the Centre for Policy Studies in January 2011, having previously worked for a year at the economic consultancy firm Frontier Economics.

  • Minimum wage hike advocates’ claims are contradictory

    Minimum wage hike advocates’ claims are contradictory

    | Economy
    My City AM column today talks about one of the unintended consequences of hiking the minimum wage, a policy more and more people are jumping on board with. I argue those who say there will not be employment consequences from raising the cost of labour seemingly ignore the rise of ...
  • We need a proper campaign to end this insidious “holiday tax”

    We need a proper campaign to end this insidious “holiday tax”

    | Economy
    About a week ago I began looking into going on holiday in February. Over the last few years, I’ve been to the US a few times, and noticed flights were quite expensive. I was thinking of flying to the Caribbean this time so suspected that I’d have to pay a ...
  • Osborne right to stick to deficit reduction, though much more to do

    Osborne right to stick to deficit reduction, though much more to do

    | Economy
    Ryan Bourne, Head of Economic Research at the Centre for Policy Studies reacts to the Autumn Statement 2013:“The upturn in the economy this year has been welcome and is reflected in the improvement in both the OBR’s improved growth forecasts and overall government borrowing figures. But we agree with the ...
  • 5 broad things the Chancellor should do in the Autumn Statement

    5 broad things the Chancellor should do in the Autumn Statement

    | Economy
    1. Focus on bringing down the deficit through spending restraintEven on the recent optimistic forecasts of Goldman Sachs, the Government will still borrow around £105 billion this year, meaning that the pace of deficit reduction is still modest at best. The OECD forecasts a deficit of 7.1% ...
  • Is greed good?

    Is greed good?

    | Politics
    Much has been said already about Boris Johnson’s Margaret Thatcher Lecture for us earlier this week. One of the main contentions seems to be Boris’s comments on the word “greed”. You wouldn’t think it from the media coverage it received, but this actually came in a section in which he ...
  • Zero hour contracts: another area where the busybodies have got it wrong

    Zero hour contracts: another area where the busybodies have got it wrong

    | Politics
    I’ve been working in Westminster for close to three years now, and it feels like the longer I’ve been here, the more libertarian I become. Not necessarily because my views about the role of government have changed, but because more and more issues are being drawn into the realm of ...
  • The interesting UK labour market story

    The interesting UK labour market story

    | Economy
    Health warning: the stats used in this blog are all taken from the ONS’s monthly Labour Market Statistics November 2013 release and are the figures for 16-64 year olds. The release also presents figures for all over 16, which would include the increasingly significant number of people who work into ...
  • My open borders debate with Ben Southwood from the ASI

    My open borders debate with Ben Southwood from the ASI

    | Economy
    Ben has published his post-mortem from our debate yesterday on “open borders” at the Bristol Freedom Society. I thought it might be worth delineating what my argument actually was, so it’s clear to anyone reading Ben’s post:I started by explaining that I’m not anti-immigration – in fact, I’m fairly liberal ...
  • Down with the 'living wage'

    Down with the 'living wage'

    | Economy
    This article is taken from our fortnightly Growth Bulletin, authored by Ryan Bourne and Tim Knox. To sign up for our mailings, use the form on the left of our newsletter page.LIVING WAGE WEEK – A FLAWED IDEAThis week has been the annual “Living Wage” week, when campaigners attempt to draw focus to ...
  • Eurosceptic thinking has noble roots: a reply to Simon Wren-Lewis

    Eurosceptic thinking has noble roots: a reply to Simon Wren-Lewis

    | Economy
    “The fundamental problem of the political left seems to be that the real world does not fit their preconceptions,” once said Thomas Sowell. “Therefore they see the real world as what is wrong, and what needs to be changed, since apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.”I was reminded of this ...
  • Travers and Whitehead on the mansion tax

    Travers and Whitehead on the mansion tax

    | Economy
    Tony Travers and Christine Whitehead have an interesting paper out on the housing market as part of the LSE’s “Creating the Conditions for Growth” series, which landed on my desk yesterday. As part of it, they review the situation on property taxation, in particular the so-called “mansion tax”. Lucian Cook ...
  • More thoughts on the IMF's wealth confiscation paper

    More thoughts on the IMF's wealth confiscation paper

    | Economy
    In my City AM column on Tuesday, I outlined how the IMF’s most recent Fiscal Monitor document, entitled “Taxing Times”, laid the intellectual work for an escalation of the tax burden (particularly on the wealthy). It was a huge shift from what you might expect the IMF to say. Sure, ...
  • Lessons from the Royal Mail share scheme

    Lessons from the Royal Mail share scheme

    | Economy
    The Royal Mail share scheme has gone through in what the Daily Telegraph report as “one of the most popular share offers in UK history”. The institutional offer was 20 times oversubscribed and the retail offer 7 times oversubscribed. Some might call that “popular capitalism”, others have claimed that this ...
  • Some thoughts on David Cameron's speech

    Some thoughts on David Cameron's speech

    | Politics
    There’s something about the Manchester conference hall which makes all of the speeches seem much flatter than in Birmingham. Perhaps it’s the acoustics or the more tiered layout in Brum. Regardless, the speeches in the main conference all seemed more low-key than last year. And in terms of a piece ...
  • Conservatives should react to Miliband’s socialism with a pro-market, rather than a pro-business, agenda

    Conservatives should react to Miliband’s socialism with a pro-market, rather than a pro-business, agenda

    | Politics
    Prior to Ed Miliband’s speech, I wrote an article for City AM which argued that the policies emanating from the Labour conference were distinctly small steps onto the socialist path. Well, that was until I heard Ed Miliband’s speech. Then I realised that what he said were particularly large steps ...