Blog

Search

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
comments

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
comments

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
comments

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
comments

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...
Kristian Niemietz
22 May 2013
2 comments

The protest placard he held up during Baroness Thatcher’s funeral procession made Dave Winslow a minor celebrity for a day. It showed a gravestone with the inscription ‘Rest of us in...
Kristian Niemietz
7 May 2013
3 comments

There are a number of theories about why government spending in developed countries has such a persistent upward tendency, only coming to a halt once the public has been so thoroughly milked that...
Kristian Niemietz
2 May 2013
2 comments

Nobody quite remembers when and why this law originally came to pass, but at some point in the distant past, the government of Analogistan introduced a nationwide statutory limit on the amount of...
Kristian Niemietz
30 April 2013
3 comments

The central plank of the coalition’s welfare reform programme is finally being rolled out. By merging several major benefits and tax credits into one payment – the new universal...
Kristian Niemietz
18 April 2013
comments

The purpose of a think tank – the clue is in the name – is to think big and holistically. When others talk about the colour of the curtains, we are supposed to be talking about the...
Kristian Niemietz
17 April 2013
11 comments

The conventional wisdom in the mainstream poverty literature is that Margaret Thatcher’s policies caused an explosion of poverty. As one standard work puts it: ‘During the 1960s, just...
Kristian Niemietz
11 April 2013
1 comment

The Right-to-Buy programme, which enabled council tenants to buy the home they lived in at a discount price, was one of Margaret Thatcher’s less controversial policies during her time...
Kristian Niemietz
5 April 2013
1 comment

Critics of the NHS often find it frustrating how emotional many otherwise completely reasonable people become when it comes to the health service. True, healthcare is always and everywhere an...
Kristian Niemietz
24 March 2013
5 comments

Since 1979, the consumption level of the poorest tenth of British society has increased by about 60 per cent in real terms. Among this group, 24 per cent have a car, 32 per cent own the home they...