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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.

  • IFS shows just 6% of planned cuts in current public service spending have been achieved

    IFS shows just 6% of planned cuts in current public service spending have been achieved

    | Economy
    This morning’s launch of the IFS Green Budget contained little that would have surprised or worried the Chancellor. The IFS figures largely backed up the OBR’s previous forecasts, suggesting a difficult twelve months ahead, which could be considerably worse in the worst-case scenario of all of the PIIGS leaving the ...
  • Raising the personal allowance

    Raising the personal allowance

    | Economy
    Most media outlets are reporting this morning’s plea from Nick Clegg to raise the personal allowance to £10,000 more quickly. This is good news on four levels. First, as Maurice Saatchi and Peter Warburton argued in ‘Poor People! Stop Paying Tax!’ in 2001, the complex interaction between means-tested benefits and ...
  • Heritage: UK Economic Freedom falls, but ranking improves

    Heritage: UK Economic Freedom falls, but ranking improves

    | Economy
    The 2012 Heritage Index of Economic Freedom is released today, and the UK finds itself up two places from 16th to 14th (despite a lower overall freedom score than last year). The Index, which weights measures of government spending, regulatory efficiency, property rights, freedom from corruption and openness of markets, ...
  • Who should a British conservative support in the race for a Republican Presidential nomination?

    Who should a British conservative support in the race for a Republican Presidential nomination?

    | US Politics
    Yesterday saw the end of campaigning in Iowa ahead of the caucuses there today. The race for the Republican nomination has taken some extraordinary twists so far with the candidates seemingly taking it in turns to top the opinion polls for a while, only to spectacularly fall away. But whilst ...
  • Setting a path for sustainable budgets in 2012

    Setting a path for sustainable budgets in 2012

    | 2012 Policy Resolutions
    In the fourth of the CPS' 'UK Policy Resolutions for 2012' series, Ryan Bourne, Head of Economic Research at the Centre for Policy Studies, looks at solutions for sustainable spending that could begin in 2012. Yesterday, in the third in the series, Esher and Walton Conservative MP Dominic Raab looked ...
  • Buying time is not enough

    Buying time is not enough

    | Economy
    For all the commentary of last week’s EU summit fallout, the key point remains that little discussed or suggested would have helped to eliminate the core problem of the current Eurozone: huge imbalances in competitiveness between nation states – imbalances created by the make-up of the Eurozone itself.It’s important to ...
  • Autumn Statement: some more observations

    Autumn Statement: some more observations

    | Economy
    The implications of the Autumn Statement (AS) in terms of both meeting the fiscal mandate and securing economic growth have been well documented. Below, I outline three unrelated but interesting observations, the implications of which have been less publicised. 1. The Bank levy
    Early on Tuesday morning, before the AS was ...
  • What’s happened to the two fiscal rules?

    What’s happened to the two fiscal rules?

    | Economy
    As you all know, George Osborne set himself two fiscal rules upon the release of his Emergency Budget in 2010. The first was to eliminate the current structural deficit within five years. The second was for the debt to GDP ratio to be falling by the end of the Parliament.  ...
  • The Autumn Statement: maintain credibility and go for growth

    The Autumn Statement: maintain credibility and go for growth

    | Politics
    A considerable number of Government policies continue to be announced ahead of the Autumn Statement tomorrow. We’ve already heard about reforms (or in many cases, consultations) on employment law. We’ve heard about the shift of £5bn from current to capital expenditure, and attempts to utilise pension funds to invest in ...
  • Misunderstanding the fiscal situation – the Coalition is to blame

    Misunderstanding the fiscal situation – the Coalition is to blame

    | Economy
    With the public finances, there has long been a glaring gap between rhetoric and reality. The Chancellor has been keen to use household imagery to outline our parlous economic state. At the Conservative party conference, he spoke about ‘paying off the country’s debts.’ Yesterday, David Cameron said that paying off ...
  • Youth Unemployment: cyclical and structural concerns

    Youth Unemployment: cyclical and structural concerns

    | General
    Yesterday’s youth unemployment figures look shocking. There are now 1.02 million 16-24 year olds out of work, 21.9% of the economically active population. 730,000 of these are not in full-time education.With headlines and information like this bumped out on a monthly basis, the fear felt by young people is perfectly ...
  • Fuel duty review – necessary as part of a growth strategy

    Fuel duty review – necessary as part of a growth strategy

    | General
    The Government has claimed that it seeks to reduce obstacles and barriers to growth. Today MPs will debate Rob Halfon’s e-petition calling for the Government to curb the upcoming rise in fuel duty. The motion reads:"That this House welcomes the 1p cut in fuel duty at the 2011 Budget, the ...
  • Scrap 50p, raise the personal allowance, and more besides

    Scrap 50p, raise the personal allowance, and more besides

    | Economy
    Another day, another group of business leaders who suggest tax cuts are necessary to help stimulate growth. In a letter to the Chancellor this morning, 30 City leaders called for immediate action to boost confidence in the economy, with the removal of the 50p tax rate and an extension of ...
  • How can we escape this Greek tragedy?

    How can we escape this Greek tragedy?

    | Economy
    George Papendreou’s decision to hold a Greek referendum on the euro bailout package earlier this week looked, at first site, like a political masterstroke. Tasked with imposing austerity, he sought the backing of the Greek people for the plan laid out by European Union leaders the week before. No doubt ...
  • GDP is a long-run indicator - policy should not change after every preliminary estimate

    GDP is a long-run indicator - policy should not change after every preliminary estimate

    | Economy
    Today’s preliminary GDP growth figures for Q3 2011 (an increase of 0.5% on the previous quarter) imply that the economy continues to struggle back towards its position prior to the recession. Unemployment is rising, and business confidence is low. In view of this, the most common ...