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  • Household Incomes, Taxes and Benefits

    Household Incomes, Taxes and Benefits

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    Yesterday we published an Economic Bulletin which examined new ONS data on household incomes, taxes and benefits. Amongst other things, the ONS data showed that 51.5% of households are receiving more from the State (in cash benefits and benefits-in kind) than they are paying in taxes. Cash benefits of course ...
  • Europe must wean itself off Russian gas. Start in Lancashire

    Europe must wean itself off Russian gas. Start in Lancashire

    Adam Memon | | Energy
    Today’s decision by Lancashire County Council to block shale gas exploration at the Preston New Road site is a terrible mistake. The economic, environmental and geopolitical arguments are overwhelmingly in favour of fracking. Shale gas could provide thousands of jobs, boost productivity, increase our energy security and all at a ...
  • Time to get fracking. No more excuses

    Time to get fracking. No more excuses

    Adam Memon | | Energy
    In a recent Economic Bulletin, we highlighted the challenges facing the UK oil and gas sector. Maturing fields are pushing up decommissioning costs, which tightens margins especially in the context of much lower prices. Alongside this, heavy taxation of the sector remains a burden despite some positive steps take in ...
  • Can SMEs solve the productivity puzzle?

    Can SMEs solve the productivity puzzle?

    Ranjavati Banerji | | Economy
    Understanding the SME productivity puzzleBritain’s productivity continues to lag behind even as the economy continues its recovery. A report by New Policy Institute demonstrates the productivity puzzle vis-à-vis the size of businesses. Previously, firms of all sizes were gaining productivity, yet post recession, while large companies show signs of improvement, ...
  • Don’t forget non-wage labour costs

    Don’t forget non-wage labour costs

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    There are some quite important changes happening in the labour market. It is clear that we are seeing a considerable tightening with the employment rate at a record high and unemployment falling to 5.5%. Unemployment is continuing to fall although at a slower pace and it may be that we ...
  • Child Poverty figures

    Child Poverty figures

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    Tomorrow’s release of child poverty figures are expected to see an increase in relative poverty. Whilst this may be disappointing, it is important to remember that the relative poverty measure is more a measure of inequality than poverty. To get a real measure of poverty we need to look more ...
  • Privatise the Green Investment Bank

    Privatise the Green Investment Bank

    Adam Memon | | Environment
    Last year we called for the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank, so it is good to read in the Financial Times today that the Government is considering how this can be done. Privatisation would completely free the Bank to leverage private capital and become an even more serious provider ...
  • Tax reform is needed to raise productivity

    Tax reform is needed to raise productivity

    Adam Memon | | Tax
    Yesterday I attended an event held at the Social Market Foundation with Paul Johnson the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies discussing tax policy. He was certainly interesting and there was much that he said with which I agreed. For example, our increasing dependence on a highly mobile elite ...
  • Reforming apprenticeships will boost skills development

    Reforming apprenticeships will boost skills development

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    The Government recently announced measures which are aimed to raise the status of apprenticeships alongside reaching its aim of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. These measures involve, for example, taking legal action against firms which are running bogus schemes. Apprenticeships are not just a marketing tool or a helpful ...
  • Mass privatisation for mass private ownership

    Mass privatisation for mass private ownership

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    The privatisation of state owned assets is not only a useful way to raise revenue but has historically injected more competition into markets. This frees the employees of state owned assets to be more creative and is likely to lead to greater innovation and productivity enhancing changes. Harriet Maltby’s recent ...
  • How UKTI can up its game

    How UKTI can up its game

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    Given the large trade deficit which Britain faces, attention has inevitably turned towards what the Government is doing to hold back or support export growth. United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI)  is the trade support body which provides advice to British companies which are looking to start exporting and to ...
  • Britain must do more to increase cybersecurity

    Britain must do more to increase cybersecurity

    Adam Memon | | General
    Big businesses have traditionally been the most common victims of cybercrime and economic espionage perpetrated through cyberspace. The problem is clearly getting worse because the average cost of the most severe online security breaches for big business has more than doubled just over the last year to reach £1.46 million. ...
  • Don’t fear an increasing minimum wage – it helps the country’s poorest

    Don’t fear an increasing minimum wage – it helps the country’s poorest

    Adam Memon | | Economy
    This article originally appeared in City A.M. "The great challenge for the government over the next five years is to raise productivity and living standards, while also continuing in its efforts to cut the deficit. Significant reform to planning, skills, tax and regulation will all be necessary. But one regulation which ...
  • Is the UK�s broadband truly �superfast�?

    Is the UK�s broadband truly �superfast�?

    While the UK continues to struggle with the productivity puzzle, reports suggest that the economy is lagging behind its European peers and the recovery is not reflecting in labour productivity trends. Given this context, the debate on the UK’s Broadband Delivery plan becomes even more significant. There is enough evidence ...
  • Russian-financed extremist parties bid for respectability

    Russian-financed extremist parties bid for respectability

    Neil Barnett | | Foreign Policy
    Since Russian financing of the French National Front was uncovered last year, the Kremlin’s sponsorship of extremist parties in Europe has ceased to be a matter of speculation and become a matter of fact. Which other pro-Russian fringe parties receive Kremlin funds is unclear, but our earlier piece on the ...