Energy and Environment
“I don’t want you to listen to me – I want you to listen to the scientists. I want you to then unite behind the science – and take action.” These were the words spoken by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to the US Congress last month. At face value, they are eminently reasonable. There ... Continue reading
Tax and Fiscal Policy
In an article in the Times earlier this week I suggested Sajid Javid take a bold approach to tax reform. I argued that we should strive for lower and simpler taxes. On its own, the former would probably make our tax system less progressive overall, while the latter would make it more progressive. Because the ... Continue reading
Many of today’s Conservatives have a taste for bans and mandates rivalling that of politicians on the Left, as we saw repeatedly during Mrs May’s administration. The latest example comes from Health Secretary Matt Hancock. His idea, floated at the party conference, is to ban children from attending school unless they have been vaccinated. Downing ... Continue reading
Energy and Environment
On 2 October 2019, the Guardian wrote to the IEA accusing us of having "a long history of climate denial", setting out a small number of historic publications, going back to 1994, which the reporter implied supported this claim, and proposed we might wish to "retract" them. This in the context of an article the ... Continue reading
The Conservative party conference is over and it is a good day when praise for free markets dominates the Prime Minister’s party conference speech. The freedoms and liberties we enjoy in the UK go hand-in-hand with a commitment to economic liberalism, which creates prosperity and raises living standards for everyone in society. But Boris Johnson ... Continue reading
When it comes to environmental problems in general and global warming in particular, I empathise with those who take the issue seriously. I like nature and I am risk averse. However, I tend to disagree with most campaigners on their policy conclusions which are frequently dangerous, at best. Greta Thunberg has become a sensation. But ... Continue reading
Labour Market
Assaults on economic freedom come so thick and so fast it is difficult to keep up with them. Here are two recent ones. Chancellor of the Exchequer and once-upon-a-time free marketer Sajid Javid was busy at the Conservative conference. He signed off a huge amount of extra spending without any apparent attention to detail, just ... Continue reading
Society and Culture
On 30 September, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Taxpayers’ Alliance organised a balloon debate entitled Socialism: Future or failure? at the 2019 Conservative Party Conference, as part of their ThinkTent fringe event series. One of the panellists was the IEA’s Dr Kristian Niemietz. The article below is based on his opening remarks.   ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
Free-market liberals will have shuddered at the news that European Commission officials have drawn up far-reaching plans for a new €100 billion fund to promote European technology giants. The 173-page document bemoans the lack of European competitors to American and Chinese titans such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. The wishlist calls for direct funds ... Continue reading
In December 2003 the Secretary of State for Health asked Ofcom to look into the regulation of television advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food to children in order to address concerns about the rising levels of childhood obesity.  How did Ofcom decide on an appropriate set of advertising regulations to address those ... Continue reading