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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.

  • The importance of the supply-side

    The importance of the supply-side

    | Economy
    There’s something deeply annoying about the debate surrounding spending cuts, both here and in much of mainland Europe. Governments have allowed opposition parties and public sector workers to frame the current response in terms of austerity vs. growth – accepting as axiomatic that increased Government spending is a prerequisite (a ...
  • The Queen's Speech - some thoughts

    The Queen's Speech - some thoughts

    | Politics
    The Queen’s Speech was somewhat anti-climactic. There was a distinct lack of, or lack of detail on, supply-side measures needed to enhance our economic growth rate. These events are always suitably vague, so this was largely to be expected. But the Speech seemed to lack a coherent vision or theme ...
  • Paul Krugman gets Britain's situation wrong on two levels

    Paul Krugman gets Britain's situation wrong on two levels

    | Economy
    Nile Gardiner has a new column on Telegraph blogs in response to Paul Krugman's New York Times article 'Death of a Fairy Tale'. In the column, Krugman had attacked British austerity by highlighting an economic report which stated that 'Britain is doing worse in the current slump than it did ...
  • Are we really in recession?

    Are we really in recession?

    | Economy
    Whilst  in Kuala Lumpur last week, I was reliably informed that the initial ONS data suggests the UK is in recession - with a 0.2% contraction in Q1 2012. This surprised me, and proved difficult to square with much of the economic survey data.Though it is of little help to ...
  • Visiting Ronald Reagan's Ranch

    Visiting Ronald Reagan's Ranch

    | US Politics
    I’ve just returned from an incredible week in California, where I was part of a Young Britons’ Foundation delegation. As part of the trip, our group had the opportunity to visit both the Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan Presidential Libraries. Like most memorials in America, these were incredibly grand – ...
  • Minimum alcohol pricing: illogical, illiberal, unfair

    Minimum alcohol pricing: illogical, illiberal, unfair

    | Social Policy
    Last month, we published the most recent in our series of debate questions: “Is it right to introduce a minimum alcohol price to tackle alcohol-related problems?” An overwhelming number of readers came down on the side of Philip Davies MP, who had concluded that the policy was flawed, illiberal and ...
  • 9 areas to look out for in the Budget

    9 areas to look out for in the Budget

    | Economy
    Gone are the days of the ‘purdah’ when leaking details of Budgets could end the career of a Chancellor. The chase for headlines and the novelty of Coalition has meant Budget negotiations are played out in the national media. With all the briefings and counter-briefings, it’s difficult to keep up ...
  • Making pay more responsive to local labour markets makes sense

    Making pay more responsive to local labour markets makes sense

    | Economy
    As Government Budget leaks intensify, the weekend saw the rebirth of Government’s proposals for public sector pay to be set more in line with local market conditions. The aim is for public sector workers, e.g. the DVLA, Jobcentre staff and civil servants, to have their pay set taking account the ...
  • Lessons on long-term bonds: Keynes on 1932 debt conversion

    Lessons on long-term bonds: Keynes on 1932 debt conversion

    | History
    Jeremy Warner wrote an excellent critique of George Osborne’s proposed 100-year bond on Wednesday, claiming that investors would be mad to take them on.He cites the example of the War Loan conversion in 1932, when in a time of national crisis, the Chancellor Neville Chamberlain managed to persuade investors to ...
  • The Chancellor must address the Child Benefit cliff-edge effect to 'make work pay'

    The Chancellor must address the Child Benefit cliff-edge effect to 'make work pay'

    | Social Policy
    The Chancellor George Osborne has, so far, been reluctant to adapt his planned change to Child Benefit for higher rate taxpayers. Households with one earner whose gross income just exceeds the £42,375 threshold will lose the benefit (£1056 for one child per year and then an additional £697 per child ...
  • Questions for Mansion Tax supporters

    Questions for Mansion Tax supporters

    | Economy
    Today, the CPS released Taxing Mansions: the taxation of high-value residential property. It picks apart the arguments made by those who advocate a new wealth tax - including the ideas that it would target a few super rich and that it would raise significant amounts of revenue.But one common response ...
  • Tax cuts: avoid short-term thinking

    Tax cuts: avoid short-term thinking

    | Economy
    The political events of the weekend have been significant. For the first time, Ed Balls shifted from talking about the need to reverse ‘savage’ spending cuts and instead is now calling for ‘tax cuts’ to stimulate the economy. He has loosened his position away from simply calling for a VAT ...
  • Moody's reaction: the real debate is whether to cut further or not

    Moody's reaction: the real debate is whether to cut further or not

    | Economy
    Reacting to the news that the rating agency Moody’s had put the UK’s credit rating to negative outlook, George Osborne said, “Britain has got to confront its debt problem, and the British Government is doing just that.”This statement is at least half right. With official public sector net debt set ...
  • Political economy considerations for Greece

    Political economy considerations for Greece

    | Economy
    Karl Marx is said to have once said that in the end economics will always trump politics. This of course is broadly true. But the unpalatable choice facing Greece: of default and expulsion from the euro, against the current German insistence on austerity, is too often viewed through the economic ...
  • Raising the personal income tax allowance is pro-poor, despite the protestations

    Raising the personal income tax allowance is pro-poor, despite the protestations

    | Economy
    After Nick Clegg argued for raising the income tax personal allowance a few weeks ago, a range of voices cropped up, once again, to argue that this was somehow a regressive measure. This mainly stems from some analysis done by Howard Reed of Landman Economics last year, in which he ...