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

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

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

Ever-expanding Green Belt must be tackled to solve the UK's housing crisis, says new report

● The planning system has become too complex and the revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework risk exacerbating the situation. The principle of a clear general presumption in favour of sustainable development that has equal weight to other considerations, including the Development Plan, must be reintroduced. ● The Planning Inspectorate appears to be under ... Continue reading

No-Deal Fear-Checker, No. 9

The UK imports 30% of its food from the EU, an amount that will be at its peak in March due to the low availability of domestic fresh produce at that time. Much of it comes through the Calais to Dover ferry route or the Eurotunnel. As it stands, if we leave the EU without ... Continue reading