Brexit provides real opportunity to bring down electricity bills for low-income households

Executive Summary: Electricity charges for households in England and Wales have risen by 50 per cent in real terms since 2001, partly as a result of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The decarbonisation policies adopted have been complex and inefficient, and have also been contradicted by other measures such as the reduced rate of VAT ... Continue reading

SMPC votes seven / two to raise bank rate in March

In its March 2017 e-mail poll, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of Seven to Two, to raise rates in March. Three members voted for an immediate rise of 0.5%. Fourther favoured a 0.25% rise. Advocates of raising rates noted that economic growth is steady, monetary growth has been strong, inflation ... Continue reading
Executive Summary: When applied to investments in company shares, capital gains tax is generally a double tax because it taxes anticipated profits and retained profits that are taxed elsewhere in the system. It should therefore be abolished. Where investments are designed to hide income as capital gains, income tax should be charged on investment returns ... Continue reading

Healthy food cheaper than 'junk food', finds new IEA research

Summary: It is widely believed that healthy eating is relatively expensive whereas ‘junk food’ is relatively cheap. This has led to an assumption that poor diets and obesity are directly caused by economic deprivation. Some studies have compared the price-per-calorie of various types of food. The inherent bias of this method has the effect of making many ... Continue reading
Co-Published Books

The twenty-third edition of the Heritage Foundation's popular survey of economic liberty

The results of the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom find that Europe became slightly more economically free than last year: from 66.9 points free on the 0-100 scale used in the Index to 68.0 free. The scores of 30 countries in the European region have improved and those of 14 have declined. Factors such as property ... Continue reading
Economic Affairs
Subscribe to Economic Affairs Contents: Introduction (page 1) by J. R. Shackleton Britain and Europe: What Ways Forward? (pages 2–14) by Harold James A Perfect Impasse? Cuba's Move Towards the Market and the United States' Move Towards Cuba (pages 19–35) by Stephen Wilkinson Shifting from Undersupply to Oversupply: Does NHS Workforce Planning Need a Paradigm Shift? ... Continue reading

IEA calls for 9p flat rate of tax on alcohol to fix illogical system

Summary: Excessive drinking creates costs to public services which the government can recoup through alcohol taxes, thereby making drinkers internalise the costs. However, in Britain, the alcohol duty regime is excessive and illogical. Not only do revenues from alcohol duty far exceed the costs to public services, but units of alcohol are taxed at dramatically ... Continue reading

Many families now spend a third of their net income on childcare

Summary:  Decisions on childcare arrangements were largely a private matter until the 1990s. A political consensus has since arisen that government action is needed to raise the quality of provision, to make it more affordable and to support parental labour market attachment. Childcare and pre-school policy is accordingly a fast-growing area of state intervention. The ... Continue reading

Obesity costs less than half as much as the government claims

Summary:  This is the first study to estimate the annual savings that overweight and obese people bring UK taxpayers by dying prematurely (in 2016 prices). Ignoring these savings leads to substantial overestimation of the true burden of elevated body mass index (BMI) to the taxpayer. Our estimate of the present value of pension, healthcare and ... Continue reading