Independent experts and 'evidence-based policy'

Ryan Bourne - 29 November 2012 - Constitution & Democracy

One of the common devices used to shut down modern political debate is to defer to the experts. ‘Experts’ say we should eat less salt. So government should act to regulate salt content in food. ‘Experts’ say we are drinking too much. So government should impose a minimum alcohol price. ...

Seeking a Dynamic Recovery

Vuk Vukovic - 29 November 2012 - Economy

Vuk Vukovic is a lecturer at the Department of Economics, Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM), where he teaches Political Economy and Principles of Economics. He received his Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics.With the West going through a slow recovery due to the effects ...

Why new Council Tax bands are a bad idea

Lucian Cook - 29 November 2012 - Economy

Lucian Cook is Director of Residential Research at Savills and author of ‘Taxing Mansions’ for the CPS. Over the course of 2012, the taxation of high value residential property has been at the forefront  of the political agenda.Top end property already makes a vastly disproportionate contribution to receipts from both stamp ...

Génération Libre

Gaspard Koenig - 28 November 2012 - Europe

Gaspard Koenig is a French liberal author and politician. The first meeting of his French think tank 'Génération Libre', which launches in the New Year, took place at the Centre for Policy Studies earlier this month. You can follow him on Twitter @gaspard2012. French people are famous for endless debates and arguments. Any foreigner ...

Sir Michael says relax! All's well with British education, apparently

Tom Burkard - 28 November 2012 - Public Services

Tom Burkard is a Visiting Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is the co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure.If Sir Michael Barber and Pearson International are right, Britain's schools have made ...

Carney departs Bank of Canada with a sterling reputation, but only time will tell on his true legacy

Philip Cross - 27 November 2012 - Economy

Philip Cross, Research Coordinator at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and the former Chief Economic Analyst at Statistics Canada, writes on the legacy new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will leave in his home country.  Mark Carney will depart from his current position as Governor of the Bank of Canada with ...

ONS finds substantial public sector pay premium

Ryan Bourne - 23 November 2012 - Economy

The guys over at the ONS are on fire at the moment with the production of their new animated films to accompany bulletins. This week they’ve analysed differences between public and private sector pay, usefully controlling for a range of factors via regression analysis in order to determine whether there ...

Our current budget deficit woe

Ryan Bourne - 22 November 2012 - Economy

Yesterday’s public finances figures were very bad news. It showed the current budget deficit (i.e. the difference between all non-investment expenditure and current tax receipts) for October was 52% higher than the October figure last year.MONTHLY CURRENT BUDGET DEFICIT (EXCLUDING FINANCIAL INTERVENTIONS) - £ MILLION                                                ""

What is Child Benefit actually spent on?

Adam Memon - 21 November 2012 - Economy

Much of the recent debate over Child Benefit surrounds the Government’s recent means-testing for higher rate taxpayers. The need to reduce the budget deficit, the consequences for work incentives and relief for families are all issues that have been discussed. One issue that has not really been covered is what ...

Why the Chancellor must abandon the Carbon Price Support

Tony Lodge - 21 November 2012 - Energy


  • It will penalise UK industry, and lose UK jobs and investment (particularly in manufacturing industry)
  • It will add £25 a year to average UK fuel bills and drive 30,000 to 60,000 households into fuel poverty
  • It will not have a significant impact on overall carbon emissions
The proposalThe UK is currently part of ...

Pension saving: bring back the 10p rebate… And goodbye higher rate relief

Michael Johnson - 20 November 2012 - Economy

With speculation in today's FT that the government is considering changes to pension tax relief for higher earners, Michael Johnson - author of CPS publications 'Pensions: Bring back the 10p rebate' and 'Put the Saver First' - writes on why he believes savings incentives need to change. The Treasury spends a vast ...

Have the ‘rich got richer and the poor got poorer’ over the past 25 years?

Ryan Bourne - 20 November 2012 - Economy

That’s the question I examine in my City AM column today. The answer is a resounding ‘no’. I’m not going to rehearse the arguments from the column again here, but thought it might be an idea to provide some graphical representation of the arguments.1)      Everyone has got better off in ...

There is no ‘global race’ and prosperity is not zero sum

Ryan Bourne - 15 November 2012 - Economy

Since David Cameron’s conference speech in October about Britain being in a ‘global race’, many commentators have written negatively about the effects of the rise of the east. The latest example is a column by Martin Kettle for the Guardian. The common thread in all of these columns is to ...

Remembrance Sunday is not a time for student politics

Adam Memon - 12 November 2012 - Politics

Remembrance Sunday is the one day of the year when we stand together to honour the millions of British and Commonwealth men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We remember the families of those who were killed; we remember those who were maimed and injured in ...

What causes/caused big government?

Ryan Bourne - 09 November 2012 - Economy

That’s one of the questions Douglas Carswell MP attempts to answer in his new book ‘The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy’.To many people the answer is simple: democracy. This view was most recently expressed by Ron Paul in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat to President Obama ...