Tax and Fiscal Policy
Tax doesn’t have to be taxing, as those jolly HMRC adverts would have us believe. But given the length (10 million words and counting), and extraordinary complexity of Britain’s tax code, it almost inevitably does. In practice, poorly-designed taxes can depress economic activity and exacerbate social problems. They can distort human behaviour and business decisions ... Continue reading

Julian Jessop comments in Sky News

On the back of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's proposal to expand ownership, Chief Economist Julian Jessop offers his thoughts on Sky News. Mr McDonnell's plan demands that firms listed in the UK who employ over 250 people create inclusive ownership funds. Julian commented: "If it costs nothing to boost workers incomes by £500 in this ... Continue reading
David Lewis is ramping up a food fight of epic proportions. The chief executive of Tesco has launched a spin-off chain of discount supermarkets called Jack’s (named after Tesco’s founder Jack Cohen). The aim is to become more competitive with German chains Aldi and Lidl, which have been saturating the market with cheaper products since their arrival in the UK ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
In many ways the EU acts like a customs union when it comes to migration that leads to employment. It is very easy to come to the UK from other EU countries to get a job. Indeed, there are no government-imposed barriers at all. However, if you wish to come from outside the EU to ... Continue reading
Research
The Institute of Economic Affairs unveils a comprehensive, alternative framework for future trade relationships between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and, just as importantly, with the rest of the world. The report, Plan A+: Creating a prosperous post-Brexit U.K., calls for the adoption of a four-pillared trade policy strategy, taking unilateral, bilateral, plurilateral and ... Continue reading
Trade, Development, and Immigration

IEA unveils its comprehensive, alternative framework for Brexit

Today the Institute of Economic Affairs unveils a comprehensive, alternative framework for future trade relationships between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and, just as importantly, with the rest of the world. The report, Plan A+: Creating a prosperous post-Brexit U.K., calls for the adoption of a four-pillared trade policy strategy, taking unilateral, bilateral, ... Continue reading

Madeline Grant writes for The Telegraph

Madeline Grant writes for The Telegraph on the over-zealous focus among UK policy-makers on rail. Madeline questions why a declining means of transport, that accounts for just 7 per cent of total passenger miles, receives so much investment. Instead, the UK should embrace the car revolution and invest in roads. 'Steam engines may have had ... Continue reading
Economic Theory

Kate Andrews writes for CityAM

In her weekly column, Kate Andrews extols the consumer benefit of price wars. This comes in the wake of Tesco's launch of Jack's, a low-cost competitor to Aldi and Lidl. The entrance into the market of a new competitor, and the downward impact on prices it will cause, provides a strong justification of the virtues ... Continue reading

Madeline Grant writes for Telegraph Refresh

Recalling her youth, Madeline Grant writes for Telegraph Refresh on how the teenage summer job has disappeared, and why we should mourn its passing. 'Like many young people, I did a number of part-time jobs in my late teens – some good, some bad, and some very ugly indeed. There were summers pulling pints at ... Continue reading
Housing and Planning
We tend to conceptualise the housing crisis in terms of affordability - and justifiably so. Over the last two decades, the ratio of median house prices to earnings in England and Wales has more than doubled. Back in 1997, house prices represented, on average, around 3.6 times workers’ annual gross full-time earnings. By 2016, however, ... Continue reading