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Kristian Niemietz
2 October 2013
3 comments

Both Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Chancellor George Osborne have announced that some sort of ‘workfare’ programme will soon become a reality in the UK, albeit with...
Kristian Niemietz
23 September 2013
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Up until about 2004, the Labour government’s strategy of fighting poverty by concentrating on three priorities – government spending, government spending and government spending –...
Kristian Niemietz
20 September 2013
1 comment

Critics of mass tourism and mass air travel have won the debate. While there is no shortage of opinion leaders who support airport expansion, their arguments are almost always defensive and reactive...
Kristian Niemietz
9 September 2013
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Climate change is a poor excuse for blocking airport expansion There are two standard arguments against airport expansion, whether at Heathrow or elsewhere: 1.    It would lead to...
Kristian Niemietz
6 September 2013
1 comment

Unemployment and underemployment in the UK are still far too high. But given the circumstances, the UK’s labour market is in a far better shape than we might have expected. In much of Europe,...
Kristian Niemietz
29 August 2013
1 comment

  The economic debate about airport expansion has become a proxy war, fought by both sides with proxy arguments. When somebody tells you that they are for/against airport expansion because of X...
Kristian Niemietz
21 August 2013
1 comment

Monday saw the release of a report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) showing what many already expected. In recent years, child-related expenses have risen considerably, with the cost of...
Kristian Niemietz
14 August 2013
22 comments

  Suppose a time-traveller from today could go back to the 1960s. His status as ‘the man who knows the future’ quickly earns him enormous political influence, which, being a right-on...
Kristian Niemietz
12 August 2013
6 comments

The UK now has one of the fastest-growing populations in Europe, according to a new report by the Office for National Statistics. In just one year, the population grew by over 400,000 people (to a...
Kristian Niemietz
1 August 2013
2 comments

  Milton Friedman once observed that, “with some notable exceptions, businessmen favour free enterprise in general, but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves.” With this in...
Kristian Niemietz
18 July 2013
7 comments

As economists, we are used to looking at summary indicators of living standards – income, expenditure, consumption etc. – and comparing them over time. Such measures are indispensable for...
Kristian Niemietz
8 July 2013
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Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna is the latest politician to jump on the anti-retail-chain bandwagon, claiming that Britain is ‘in danger of sleepwalking towards monostreet’. Umunna...
Kristian Niemietz
28 June 2013
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Most people who have had to adjust their spending behaviour after a substantial loss of income probably observed two things. Firstly, the 'lawnmower method' – cutting expenditure across...
Kristian Niemietz
26 June 2013
6 comments

Would you like to receive something for free? Or would you prefer to pay for it, out of your own pocket? Phrased in those terms, the issue of top-up payments for medical treatments appear to be a no-...
Kristian Niemietz
25 June 2013
4 comments

Contributory welfare has become the latest fad in Westminster village. Labour politicians are in favour of it, Conservative politicians are in favour of it, think tanks are in favour of it, and they...
Kristian Niemietz
17 June 2013
1 comment

  Apparently unaware of Ed Miliband’s recent announcements that a Labour government would cut the Housing Benefit bill by building more homes, shadow community secretary Hilary Benn...
Kristian Niemietz
8 June 2013
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In his speech in east London yesterday, Ed Miliband hoped to reframe the debate by outlining a distinctively Labour approach to welfare policy. Distinctive perhaps but, from a policy perspective it...
Kristian Niemietz
6 June 2013
2 comments

Apparently, the Labour Party is performing a U-turn on universal benefits, or at least on the Winter Fuel Payment. So far, the principle of universality has been seen as sacrosanct. Now, a removal...
Kristian Niemietz
29 May 2013
2 comments

After Baroness Thatcher’s death, when a renewed debate about her legacy had erupted, one particular publication format was suddenly all over the place: the ‘myth-buster’. Five...
Kristian Niemietz
28 May 2013
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Apart from George Osborne, nobody really seems to like the Help to Buy scheme, the programme under which the government acts as a guarantor for high loan-to-value mortgages. Among the latest to...