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Steve Davies
9 April 2014
1 comment

It would be easy to think that the debate about Britain’s membership of the EU has been done to death. Yet there has been relatively little serious discussion about the alternatives to EU...
Ryan Bourne
8 April 2014
comments

Political soundbites can be excruciating. They hang around for a year or two before disappearing when they become untenable. Who can forget Labour’s ‘too far, too fast’, or the...
Philip Booth
7 April 2014
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A week ago, Mark Hoban, the former Work and Pensions Minister, called for a reform of tax relief on pensions contributions to 'equalise' the rate of relief given to all taxpayers at 30...
Kristian Niemietz
6 April 2014
2 comments

Political leaders often struggle to find their ‘big idea’, their multi-purpose answer to tackle a range of problems at once. Ed Miliband does not have that problem; he surely has found...
Ryan Bourne and Kristian Niemietz
4 April 2014
26 comments

- ‘There’s a study on this by University X, which clearly confirms A.’ - ‘That has long been debunked. Another study, from University Y, rebuts A and conclusively proves B....
Kristian Niemietz
3 April 2014
2 comments

Most arguments in favour of a mandatory living wage, or a large hike in the National Minimum Wage (NMW), are playing to a left-wing gallery. There is the paleo-Keynesian argument that a higher NMW...
Len Shackleton
3 April 2014
1 comment

While welcoming George Osborne’s emphasis this week on raising employment, I have some caveats about his target – to have the highest employment rate in the G7. This isn’t hugely...
Ryan Bourne
2 April 2014
3 comments

As the economic debate has shifted away from macroeconomic outcomes to living standards, politicians across all parties have become increasingly interested in pay, particularly for those on low...
Ryan Bourne
1 April 2014
1 comment

‘It’s time to cast aside the dogma and look at the facts’. Sound familiar? Anyone who watched last week’s Europe debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg would have seen the...
1 April 2014
1 comment

A rapidly growing literature on behavioural economics shows that some errors made by regulators are persistent and predictable. Behavioural economics uses insights from psychology to explain why...
Kristian Niemietz
31 March 2014
1 comment

In health policy, a good rule of thumb for distinguishing nonsense from arguments that deserve a hearing is to ask oneself whether one would accept the same logic in other sectors. This formula...
Philip Booth
28 March 2014
2 comments

It is not entirely unwelcome that the energy industry has been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by Ofgem. It may lance a festering boil; it may do some good. However, this will...
Kristian Niemietz
27 March 2014
2 comments

The last blog piece on so-called ‘second generation rent controls’ (SGRCs) argued that while these controls would not necessarily cause a lot of damage, they would do nothing to solve the...
Kristian Niemietz
26 March 2014
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Whether one agrees with the policy or not, one should think that a trebling of tuition fees cannot but result in a bonanza for universities, and huge savings for the Treasury. Yet according to recent...
Ryan Bourne
25 March 2014
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‘If people are given responsibility, they behave responsibly. So if we give people more political power, I believe that will create a country with a greater sense of social responsibility....
Ryan Bourne
24 March 2014
2 comments

‘Decentralisation. Decentralisation. Decentralisation’. It doesn’t have the same ring to it as Tony Blair’s ‘Education’ mantra, but there’s a significant...
Kristian Niemietz
23 March 2014
5 comments

The Budget announced an abolition of the higher rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD). Fair enough, given that average rates of APD – a duty which is generally justified in environmental terms...
Christopher Snowdon
21 March 2014
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On Sunday, the Observer reported that ‘Inequality costs Britain £39bn a year’. This is based on the belief that ‘a more equal UK would experience less crime and imprisonment,...
Stephen Littlechild
20 March 2014
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Ofgem, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will shortly issue an assessment of how well competition in the markets for gas and electricity is serving the...
Ryan Bourne
20 March 2014
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  With the fiscal situation still tight, and a year to go before an election in which the Chancellor will accuse the opposition of fiscal profligacy, it was never likely that this was going to...