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Blogs in Economy

  • Innovation growth pessimism should worry us all

    Innovation growth pessimism should worry us all

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    Many commentators aren't just pessimistic abour our current growth prospects. It is becoming increasingly popular to suggest that lower growth more generally might be the new normal, because productivity growth – driven by innovation – is slowing down. An article by Martin Wolf in Wednesday’s FT seemed sympathetic to the ...
  • Auto-enrolment: A pensions experiment that could turn out to be an interim measure

    Auto-enrolment: A pensions experiment that could turn out to be an interim measure

    Michael Johnson | | Economy
    Michael Johnson is a CPS Research Fellow and pensions expert. He recently authored the CPS publication "Put the Saver First" and was Secretary to the Conservative Party's Economic Competitiveness Policy Group.As auto-enrolment (AE) kicks off, in a spirit of muted enthusiasm, attention should be turned to one of the AE-eligible schemes: ...
  • Reaction to the public borrowing figures

    Reaction to the public borrowing figures

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The public sector borrowing figures out today are still pretty grim. Borrowing for August was almost exactly the same as last year (both around £14.4 billion) whilst overall the current budget deficit was higher in August 2012 (£13.2 billion) than last year (£12.8 billion). This means that overall the cumulative ...
  • Sowell on the folly of redistribution and wealth grabs

    Sowell on the folly of redistribution and wealth grabs

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    There’s a very good column by Thomas Sowell on the National Review Online discussing the folly of redistribution, and in particular wealth grabs. The context is the re-emergence of a video of Barack Obama saying how much he is in favour of redistribution (which is a lot less appealing to ...
  • The Swedish Model: Cutting business taxes

    The Swedish Model: Cutting business taxes

    Lewis Brown | | Economy
    Alongside the news of QE3 in America, there is a less-reported form of economic stimulus taking place in Sweden. Often venerated by the left as a model of a redistributive model along with the other ‘Nordic states’, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has announced the country will slash corporation tax ...
  • Liam Fox is right – CGT is a bad tax for the economy

    Liam Fox is right – CGT is a bad tax for the economy

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    When commentators point out a lack of Lib Dem ‘wins’ in the Coalition government, remind them of the Capital Gains Tax hike undertaken in 2010. Sure, the ‘progressive’ party wanted to increase it further to replicate the income tax bands, but at the time the hike for higher rate income ...
  • The can looks like being kicked down the road again...

    The can looks like being kicked down the road again...

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    A few weeks ago we put out a pamphlet which said that on unchanged policies, it was virtually impossible for the Chancellor to meet his target of reducing debt as a proportion of GDP by the end of the Parliament (pretty uncontroversial given the outlook).At the time, the Treasury denied ...
  • Want to Marry a Footballer? Consider moving to France!

    Want to Marry a Footballer? Consider moving to France!

    Oliver Latham | | Economy
    Many people are dubious of the behavioural changes attributed to tax cuts, particularly cuts to taxes which primarily benefit wealthier individuals. This reaction is perhaps at its most pronounced when it is claimed that higher taxes on investment bankers will result in a mass exodus from the City of London ...
  • Industrial strategy? No thanks.

    Industrial strategy? No thanks.

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    It’s understandable that someone of a free-market persuasion is slightly depressed at the moment. On a weekly basis, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party advocate new punitive wealth taxes. The Labour party is beginning to suggest policies for ‘predistribution’, which sounds suspiciously like a form of prices and incomes ...
  • Hayek and Thatcher

    Hayek and Thatcher

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    In this blog post, Head of Economic Research Ryan Bourne documents the influence of the Nobel-prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek on Margaret Thatcher and her administrations. This follows the publication of an archive of documents on Margaret Thatcher’s relationship with Hayek and Milton Friedman by the Thatcher Foundation today. This ...
  • Ed Balls sees a bandwagon, hops aboard

    Ed Balls sees a bandwagon, hops aboard

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    So today’s Independent tells us that Ed Balls now agrees it’s time for a proper wealth tax, and he’s willing to have a look at a mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million.Part of me was delighted (even though I disagree with it) that the Shadow Chancellor has finally ...
  • If Conservative backbenchers feel that economic policy requires radical change, now is the very time to speak up

    If Conservative backbenchers feel that economic policy requires radical change, now is the very time to speak up

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    One of the key themes to David Davis’s speech at the Centre for Policy Studies yesterday was the need for radical supply-side reform to improve the growth potential of the UK economy.Davis, as with many backbench Conservative MPs, feels that the Coalition is not pressing on quickly enough with much ...
  • Reducing deficit and getting growth: cut current spending + supply-side reforms

    Reducing deficit and getting growth: cut current spending + supply-side reforms

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    There’s an interesting new paper out by Alberto Alesina, Carlo Favero and Francesco Giavazzi, who examine the effects of fiscal consolidation on output.  Here’s their conclusion:“We find that it matters crucially how the fiscal correction occurs. Adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly in terms of output losses ...
  • In the land of Adam Smith

    In the land of Adam Smith

    Jeremy Jennings | | Economy
    Among the more intriguing aspects of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s personality is an interest in the work of Adam Smith. This interest is genuine and long-standing. In part it derives from the fact that both Smith and Brown – admittedly some two hundred years apart – were both born ...
  • Mansion tax: wrong then, wrong now; already causing damage

    Mansion tax: wrong then, wrong now; already causing damage

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    Head of Economic Research Ryan Bourne comments on rumoured manoeuvres to resurrect the case for a Mansion Tax.There are rumours in Westminster that the Lib Dems are again pushing for a mansion tax. It takes a weird mind to think: growth crisis? A new tax is the answer. But never mind. Back ...