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Blogs in Economy

  • Tax cuts: avoid short-term thinking

    Tax cuts: avoid short-term thinking

    Ryan Bourne | | 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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...
  • No to Swedish-style tax-breaks for cleaners

    No to Swedish-style tax-breaks for cleaners

    David Martin | | Economy
    CPS Research Fellow and tax expert David Martin, author of recent publication 'How to Cut Corporation Tax', writes on the questions raised by the Coalition's rumoured consideration of Swedish-style tax breaks to help mothers into work by employing cleaners and gardeners. It was widely reported last week that 10 Downing Street ...
  • Raising the personal income tax allowance is pro-poor, despite the protestations

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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...
  • 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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...
  • Congratulations to Nick Clegg on more employee ownership

    Congratulations to Nick Clegg on more employee ownership

    Administrator CPS | | Economy
    This morning’s speech by Nick Clegg argued for a more ‘liberal capitalism’, to share the successes and benefits amongst many rather than the few. He rightly highlighted the 1980s as a decade of private shareholders and suggested this decade we should encourage employee share ownership. He further argued that employee ...
  • Heritage: UK Economic Freedom falls, but ranking improves

    Heritage: UK Economic Freedom falls, but ranking improves

    Ryan Bourne | | 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, ...
  • Buying time is not enough

    Buying time is not enough

    Ryan Bourne | | 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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...
  • Arguing against teachers and nurses is impossible, but being right isn’t always about being popular

    Arguing against teachers and nurses is impossible, but being right isn’t always about being popular

    Lewis Brown | | Economy
    Lewis James Brown argues that even modest public sector reform can never be popular and sets out why the deeper reform proposals from Michael Johnson and the Centre for Policy Studies will ultimately be necessary. It should come as no surprise that the think tank of Margaret Thatcher would take a ...
  • What’s happened to the two fiscal rules?

    What’s happened to the two fiscal rules?

    Ryan Bourne | | 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.  ...
  • Misunderstanding the fiscal situation – the Coalition is to blame

    Misunderstanding the fiscal situation – the Coalition is to blame

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...
  • Scrap 50p, raise the personal allowance, and more besides

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

    Ryan Bourne | | 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 ...