Tax and Fiscal Policy
For politicians, there is something attractively simple about spending targets. Rather than argue the nuances of why the Government of the day feels it needs to x, y or z - boiling it down to how much they’re aiming to spend on each is much easier to explain. The 0.7% of GDP target for foreign ... Continue reading
Imagine if a sports journalist regularly described Sergio Agüero as a Manchester United player and insisted that West Bromwich Albion won the Premier League this season. Imagine a political correspondent routinely referring to the Liberal Democrats as the ruling party and claiming that the Chancellor was Michael Fabricant. They wouldn't last very long. Readers and ... Continue reading
The freedom to provide and use digital services is under sustained attack. The EU’s new Copyright Directive places a heavy burden on website operators who make user-generated content available – compelling them to filter suspected infringing content, in a misplaced attempt to turn back the clock and protect rights holders and newspapers from new ways ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
High pay has been a political concern for more than a quarter of a century, but this concern is growing as we learn more and more about what other people are paid. The political winds have changed: where Labour’s Peter Mandelson was ‘intensely relaxed’ about high pay, the Conservatives’ Caroline Nokes now thinks nobody should ... Continue reading
Trade, Development, and Immigration
On 7 May 2019, the FREER group held a panel discussion entitled “Freer movement? Immigration post-Brexit”. One of the panellists was the IEA’s Head of Political Economy, Kristian Niemietz, the author of the paper “Immigration: Picking the low-hanging fruits”. The article below is a rough transcript of his opening remarks.   When we talk about ... Continue reading
The Labour Party’s Peter Mandelson once remarked that Labour was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”. But in 2019 a politician is more likely to be heard saying we must all be deeply concerned about the apparent excesses of pay at the top of organisations – both public and private sector.  But do they have ... Continue reading
Tax and Fiscal Policy
Private-rented property is a favoured whipping boy of this government as it becomes subject to no end of increased regulation and penal (and illogical) taxation. This new IEA paper exposes the tax regime that is in the process of being introduced. When George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in his Budget speech ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
It didn’t take long until the first hammer-and-sickle flags were spotted at the climate change strikes. Given the woeful environmental track record of socialist economies, socialism and environmentalism should not be natural bedfellows. In practice, they usually are. The reason is that socialists and environmentalists often start from the same place: an intuitive, visceral dislike ... Continue reading
It was hard not to raise a wry smile at the story of how the European Commission’s own Code of Practice on Disinformation threatened to undermine political parties’ campaigning during the forthcoming European parliament elections. As reported by Politico, Facebook’s new terms of business for political advertising required that advertisers must be registered in the ... Continue reading
Remaining in a customs union with the EU would make it impossible for the UK to establish an independent trade policy, and render reclaiming policy areas such as agriculture and state aid an impossibility, an IEA briefing argues. With customs union membership still on the table as a way to break the Brexit deadlock, a ... Continue reading