People can get a very misleading picture from statistics which are not properly understood. Take this, from The Telegraph: “Around 357,000 jobs were added to the economy in the 12 months to April but the jobs boom has largely been driven by the 50-64 age group and even the over-65s. Of those jobs, 304,000 were ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
Last week, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell gave a speech at the Rail and Maritime Transport (RMT) Union’s “Garden Party for Cuba” event, attended, among other luminaries, by the Cuban ambassador. McDonnell made the following pledge: “We’re here in solidarity with the Cuban revolution […] I want to say this to our Cuban comrades. When […] ... Continue reading
The No Outsiders programme was created in 2014 by Andrew Moffat, the assistant headteacher at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham. The programme aims to teach children about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act - such as sexual orientation and religion. Books used in the programme include stories about a dog that doesn't feel like it fits in, ... Continue reading
When the BBC reported last month that Arron Banks had given £450,000 to Nigel Farage, I tweeted ironically: “So now we know why Mr Farage keeps banging on about leaving the EU. He’s been funded by a notorious Eurosceptic”. As should be obvious, the joke here is that everybody knows that Nigel Farage has been ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
“Market failure” is constantly used by capitalism’s critics as justification for government spending, taxes and regulation. In policy areas ranging from schooling to the consumption of sugary drinks, claims that uncontrolled markets fail to achieve socially optimal outcomes empower advocates of various government policies to argue that intervention is economically necessary and beneficial. Yet there is a ... Continue reading
On Question Time last week, the issue of the restriction of television licences to over-75s was raised. Nobody spoke in favour of the decision. This is a triumph of special interests over rationality or justice – a problem that was predicted to occur as the population ages in various IEA publications. Let us put aside ... Continue reading
Trade, Development, and Immigration
YES - says Shanker Singham, Head of the International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs When the UK leaves the EU, we will have to reform our agriculture policy. Our new paper, Fertile Ground: Opportunities and challenges for UK agriculture, outlines how. The answer we propose is less tariff and less regulatory protectionism. ... Continue reading
Opponents of Fracking argue that it was always a bad idea, because of climate change. Cutting carbon emissions means reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. So, to develop a new gas industry is to do the opposite. Polls have consistently shown that fracking is unpopular. When three anti-fracking activists were freed from jail they were greeted with cheers. The ... Continue reading
Trade, Development, and Immigration
Last Monday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that if it were up to him, he would scrap the government’s net migration target of 100,000. Javid does not think that such a measure would be unpopular with voters: “From speaking to people, they’re concerned with having control over immigration rather than crude numbers.” It is a ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has declared that there will be a second independence referendum by 2021. This is not unreasonable given the major constitutional change of Brexit. There was a significant amount of comment by IEA authors around the time of the first referendum and then in the period afterwards. ... Continue reading