Tax and Fiscal Policy
It is no wonder the electorate supports a windfall tax to try to deal with the costs of the pandemic. After all, a windfall is something you get for free. The electorate at large perceive that others have had some good fortune. A windfall tax would allow us to pay off some of the debt ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
YES – says Andy Mayer Unusually, as an elected local Councillor I am directly involved in these decisions. Back in spring, at the height of lockdown misery, my authority decided it would ditch a one-year inflationary pay deal… …and instead, impose a three-year inflationary pay deal. I was one of very few voices against this. ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
I recently interviewed Sir Anthony Seldon, on the 15th anniversary of his father Arthur Seldon’s death, and I have consequently been thinking quite a bit about the early days of the Institute of Economic Affairs.   Many people who were involved with the IEA in the 1950s and 1960s are no longer with us, of course: this ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The Government has appointed a panel to review the future of public service broadcasting. We can be wholly confident that they will report that little should change. The panel is made up largely of industry insiders and ex-insiders, and they tend to revere the status quo. The licence fee stops the BBC competing effectively for ... Continue reading
Tax and Fiscal Policy
Researchers at Deutsche Bank (DB) have proposed an additional tax on people working from home “to help those who cannot”. This would break just about every principle of good tax design and is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. Let me explain… As I understand it, the proposal is for a 5% tax ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
John Mills’ new book, The Elephant in the Room (published by Civitas and the John Mills Institute for Prosperity), leads with a dire warning that UK living standards may be lower in 2030 than in 2019, but counters this with the bold claim that the economy could grow sustainably by 3% to 4% a year ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Coronavirus has resulted in a major economic crisis and caused immense damage to both the economy and people’s lives. This damage is both a result of voluntary social distancing and the draconian measures most Western governments have put in place in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. In the UK, GDP fell ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
On the ghoulishly appropriate date of 31 October – Halloween – Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures. “These measures above all will be time-limited,” the Prime Minister assured the people. “They will end on Wednesday 2 December.” Only a day later, however, Michael Gove told Sky News that the lockdown could be extended. “We’re going ... Continue reading
Do you know who Owen Jones is? You probably find this question bemusing. Jones is the UK’s bestselling political writer, he has a million Twitter followers, and he is almost constantly on TV. If you live in Britain, and you take at least some interest in current affairs, it is impossible not to know who he is (more’s ... Continue reading
Labour Market
The closure of the original job retention scheme (CJRS) at the end of October is focusing attention again on the prospects for unemployment. A "top down" approach (based on GDP) suggests that UK unemployment could rise to more than 3 million, or 10% of the workforce. But a less pessimistic "bottom up" approach suggests it ... Continue reading