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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.

  • Brass neck and the Labour party

    Brass neck and the Labour party

    | Economy
    It’s easy to get frustrated when using Twitter, particularly when you see politicians being somewhat hypocritical about big issues like the economy. That’s why last night I got so annoyed with the tweet below by Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who said:“V gd piece by @jdportes ...
  • No jobs? Or are British workers unwilling to take some of them?

    No jobs? Or are British workers unwilling to take some of them?

    | Economy
    ‘There are no jobs’. How many times have you heard it? It’s a phrase repeated on practically every discussion programme on the economy, on every channel, every day.Yet I’ve spent the past two days talking to UK fruit farmers, and many of them tell me they constantly advertise for seasonal ...
  • We’re in a bad way and the long term outlook is difficult

    We’re in a bad way and the long term outlook is difficult

    | Economy
    George Osborne’s decision to set up the Office for Budget Responsibility should rank as a bold success to all those who care about fiscal transparency and sustainability. The institution has today published its second Fiscal Sustainability Report, a superb innovation which not only paints a more accurate picture of the ...
  • Dilnot: when is a cap not a cap?

    Dilnot: when is a cap not a cap?

    | Economy
    The Government has today released its response to the Dilnot Commission capped cost model of long-term care. The Coalition supports the idea of capping an individual's liability to care costs in principle, but seems unwilling at the current time to discuss how this will eventually be paid for.Tomorrow's annual OBR ...
  • Austerity, Krugman and Estonia

    Austerity, Krugman and Estonia

    | Economy
    In this extended blog post, CPS Head of Economic Research Ryan Bourne examines the facts behind the ongoing debate between Paul Krugman and the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves.A few weeks ago CPS board member Jon Moulton appeared on Newsnight alongside Paul Krugman to discuss the UK government’s austerity ...
  • EU referenda

    EU referenda

    | Europe
    Should we have an EU referendum?At Dr Fox’s speech on the EU this morning, Nick Robinson of the BBC suggested that Fox’s admission that he thought we had nothing to fear from EU exit was a very significant moment. Up until the last few months, Conservative MPs have felt unable ...
  • Misconceptions of Laffer

    Misconceptions of Laffer

    | Economy
    Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of listening to the American economist Art Laffer at the IEA. For those who haven’t heard him before, he’s a lively and charismatic speaker, and the anecdotes he tells from years as an advisor to Presidents Reagan and Clinton as well as Prime Ministers ...
  • Borrowing and the fiscal rules

    Borrowing and the fiscal rules

    | Economy
    A few months ago I wrote about what the Budget implied for the fiscal rules which George Osborne set himself at the start of the Parliament. Just to recap, there are two of them:1) the cyclically-adjusted current budget should be balanced by the end of a rolling five year period2) ...
  • Tax avoidance is not immoral

    Tax avoidance is not immoral

    | Politics
    David Cameron appears to have opened a huge can of worms by claiming that Jimmy Carr’s ‘tax avoidance’ is immoral. If it’s found that what he did was, in fact, within the law, this will have huge implications for the future of the tax debate in the UK.Carr is, of ...
  • Does public sector employment distort the private sector?

    Does public sector employment distort the private sector?

    | Economy
    Yes. That’s the conclusion of an excellent new paper published by Giulia Faggio and Henry Overman for the Spatial Economics Research Centre at the LSE.Using data on employment for English Local Authorities, they find that in the short-run increased public sector employment in an area – though increasing employment overall ...
  • Labour’s plan: more debt with little growth benefit

    Labour’s plan: more debt with little growth benefit

    | Economy
    ‘Reckless, ideological cuts’ the Labour benches holler. ‘Dealing with the nation’s debts’ claim the Coalition ministers. It’s easy to forget that their public commitments going into the last election were remarkably similar. The Labour government’s plan was to halve the deficit (the OVERALL deficit) in four years – which their ...
  • U-turns show 'tax reform without tax cuts is a political disaster'

    U-turns show 'tax reform without tax cuts is a political disaster'

    | Economy
    As soon as I heard about the Government's u-turns on the pasty and caravan taxes, I couldn't help but think of a key conclusion of the 2020 Tax Commission last week: 'tax reform without tax cuts is a political disaster.'Sure, opinion is divided today over whether the Government has done ...
  • A reply to IPPR on ‘Small is Best’

    A reply to IPPR on ‘Small is Best’

    | Economy
    IPPR seem to have a dedicated CPS output response wing broadcasting on Left Foot Forward these days. Today, their Senior Economist Tony Dolphin has ‘unravelled’ the Centre for Policy Studies ‘voodoo economics bigging up small government.’ He is referring to our report, released today, which provides further statistical evidence that ...
  • The Coalition should implement no fault dismissal

    The Coalition should implement no fault dismissal

    | Economy
    There’s evidence and principle to support no fault dismissalIt seems like the Beecroft Report is set to cause an almighty row within the Coalition. As all agreed on last night’s Newsnight discussion, the vast majority of the report is not contentious and is very similar to Dominic Raab's excellent CPS ...
  • Rogoff and the Reinharts: the debt threat is real

    Rogoff and the Reinharts: the debt threat is real

    | Economy
    At the moment, the stimulus debate shapes up something like this: all parties recognise the need to eliminate the deficit (i.e. the rate we add to our debt), but think we should do this without fundamentally harming the recovery in the short-term. Those who advocate more spending than planned think ...