In its e-mail poll for September - the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by eight votes to one to raise Bank rate. This decision marks the 4th consecutive month that the committee has voted for a rise by this margin. The overwhelming consensus amongst members is that the economy is expanding fast enough to ... Continue reading

'No deal' with EU on trade post Brexit does not mean disaster for the UK

Summary:  The primary objective of trade policy should be to promote the interests of UK consumers, not producers. The UK’s best post- Brexit trade policy should therefore be to trade as freely as possible with the rest of the world. Free Trade would bring considerable benefits to the UK. These benefits include lower consumer prices, ... Continue reading

UK will pay almost £25 billion in 'sin taxes' next year

Summary:  This discussion paper provides the first estimate of the net effect of smoking on UK taxpayers per annum. Up until now, estimates have used a methodology that typically includes intangible costs, including costs to smokers themselves, while ignoring tangible savings to the state and tax revenues from tobacco duty. We estimate a net saving ... Continue reading

SMPC votes eight / one to raise bank rate in August

At a quarterly face-to-face meeting in July, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by eight votes to one to raise Bank rate. This was the second consecutive vote by the Committee to raise rates by this margin. In a lively and well-attended discussion, the case for a rate rise was made by the majority on ... Continue reading

Taylor review fails to factor in costs to employees of proposed interventions

Summary:  The Taylor Review should be commended for recognising the success of the UK’s flexible labour market and for refusing to endorse the outright bans on zero-hours contracts and app-based “gig” economy advocated by the Labour Party, trade unions and other pressure groups. However, its recommendations for further regulation of these types of work seem ... Continue reading

Why the health system needs old-age reserve funds

Summary: Healthcare spending as a proportion of GDP has almost doubled since 1990, from just over 5 per cent to almost 10 per cent now. With differences in timing and magnitude, virtually all developed countries have experienced a similar long-term trend Healthcare costs rise exponentially in old age. Healthcare costs per capita are relatively stable ... Continue reading

IEA Brexit Unit makes the case that UK divorce bill should not exceed £26 billion

Key Points The UK is leaving the EU and needs to close its accounts. In a divorce, the two sides divide up the assets and liabilities. But the situation here is more like leaving a club, so the question is when the obligation to pay membership fees should end. One option would be simply be ... Continue reading
Economic Affairs
Subscribe to Economic Affairs Contents: Introduction (pages 165–166) by J. R. Shackleton Should there be freedom of dissociation? (pages 167–181) by David S. Oderberg College Readiness: Are California Charter School Students Better Prepared? (pages 182–196) by Kerry A. Adzima The Financing of Investment in Utility Assets (pages 197–212) by Nicos Zafiris Lowering the Marginal Corporate ... Continue reading

Political consensus to increase employment regulation risks undermining the economy

Summary: Legal restrictions on the terms and conditions under which employment takes place have a long history in the UK. Since the mid 1960s, however, regulation has substantially increased and now permeates all aspects of work. The costs of this are huge. Just one element relates to the direct burden on firms. For example, the ... Continue reading

SMPC votes seven / two to raise Bank Rate in May

At its April 2017 face-to-face meeting, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by seven to two, to raise Bank rate in May. This is the biggest vote for a rise since rates were cut to their historic lows. Of the seven members favouring a raise, four preferred a rise of 1/4% and three a ... Continue reading