Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme to the UK

Summary: A UK-wide deposit return scheme (DRS) can be expected to increase recycling rates for beverage bottles and cans from 70-75 per cent to 85-90 per cent, but at a disproportionate cost. A DRS is expected to cost over £1 billion in its first year and £814 million per annum thereafter. The tangible economic benefits ... Continue reading

Gender pay gap reporting produces another round of misleading statistics

Summary Now into the second year of mandated gender pay gap reporting for large organisations, it has become increasingly clear that the influx of data - ranging from negative gaps, to gaps exceeding 50% - fails to provide any meaningful insight into equal or fair pay for men and women in the workplace. The requirement ... Continue reading

IEA publishes report on the EEA and EFTA models to leave the European Union

Summary:  There seem to be three broad variations to the EEA model: Not joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and ‘continuing’ as party to the EEA Agreement Joining EFTA, and then becoming party to the EEA Agreement as an EFTA member Joining EFTA as an Associate Member and then becoming an EFTA party to ... Continue reading

Shadow Monetary Policy Committee votes to hold bank rate

In its March 2019 e-mail poll, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of six to three, to hold rates in March. The three favoured a 0.25% rise. As in previous recent meetings, advocates of holding rates noted that broad money growth continues relatively weak, with some saying that the Bank should ... Continue reading

The misguided war on offshore financial centres

Summary: Corporate taxes are inefficient, with much greater deadweight costs than most other taxes. The optimal corporate tax rate is zero. Bad policies are often good politics. Most voters are easily deluded into thinking that corporate taxes impose no cost on them. Cutting corporate tax and increasing personal taxes is a vote loser. Politicians around ... Continue reading
Economic Affairs
Subscribe to Economic Affairs Contents: Introduction (page 1-2) Can economic multilateralism survive? (pages 3-24) by Jean Pisani-Ferry Prospects for an ordoliberal reform of the European Union (pages 28-34) by Jurgen Wandel How to draft ‘good’ minutes of monetary policy decisions (pages 44-64) by Jan Fredrik Qvigstad Sir Thomas More's Utopia: An overlooked economic classic (pages ... Continue reading

IEA releases report on junk food and its definition

Summary: The term ‘junk food’ has no legal definition and its use by campaigners gives a misleading impression of how much food and drink will be affected by government proposals in the Childhood Obesity Strategy. Policies that restrict ‘junk food’ will actually restrict HFSS food (high in salt, sugar and salt) as defined by the ... Continue reading

SMPC votes unanimously to hold bank rate this month

The Global Economy Backdrop: Julian Jessop referred to his presentation slides. He said he will begin with the global backdrop, then move on to the recent performance of the UK economy, before concluding with a discussion of Brexit risks. He said that with the focus on Brexit, something that is not often mentioned is that ... Continue reading

A re-examination of state-funded activism

Summary: Following on from research published by the IEA between 2012 and 2014, this discussion paper revisits the issue of state-funded activism in the UK and EU. It starts with the hypothesis that there has been a decline in taxpayers’ money given to political advocacy groups because (1) budget cuts under ‘austerity’ have made less ... Continue reading

IEA releases new, comprehensive book on socialism

Summary: Socialism is popular in the UK – not just among students, but also among people in their 30s and 40s. This is confirmed by survey after survey. Surveys also show that support for socialism in general terms is matched by support for a broad range of individual policies that could reasonably be described as ... Continue reading