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Kristian Niemietz
29 October 2010
1 comment

The welfare section of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) contains many elements which are “pragmatic” rather than strategic. This includes the temporary freezing of the Savings...
Kristian Niemietz
11 October 2010
5 comments

The DWP is getting serious about the plans to merge a host of existing benefits into a Universal Credit (UC) with a single taper rate. There are two main aims. One is to simplify the system to...
Kristian Niemietz
7 October 2010
1 comment

Imagine the IEA issued a publication asserting that material hardship was no longer an issue in the developed world. The least well-off were enjoying such high levels of material comfort that we...
Kristian Niemietz
5 October 2010
10 comments

Yesterday, the coalition announced that Child Benefit (CB) will be scrapped for families where one member belongs to the higher-rate tax bracket. A sensible reform idea, even when the details are...
Kristian Niemietz
30 September 2010
26 comments

Should the NHS bribe people into leading healthy lives? Should there be cash incentives paid out when people eat less junk food, quit smoking, drink less alcohol etc? In a BBC News Channel debate...
Kristian Niemietz
17 September 2010
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Free marketeers have received support from an unlikely ally. During a press conference in Cuba, the Máximo Líder Fidel Castro publicly admitted that the Cuban model no longer works...
Kristian Niemietz
10 September 2010
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“The welfare state is now a vast, sprawling bureaucracy that can act to entrench, rather than solve, the problems of poverty and social exclusion.” The above quote does not come from a...
Kristian Niemietz
2 September 2010
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Anti-consumerism as a gut-feeling has been around for ages . But the attempt to rationalise the sentiment in economic terms is a product of our times – and a successful one at that. With...
Kristian Niemietz
17 August 2010
14 comments

If you haven’t read a book that made you laugh out loud on the bus or the Tube in a while, try Christopher Snowdon’s superb release, The Spirit Level Delusion (SLD). But the book...
Kristian Niemietz
6 August 2010
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It may seem like a fox writing a publication on geese-keeping. And yet, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) has joined the debate on the ‘Big Society’. The core message of Ten big...
Kristian Niemietz
27 July 2010
1 comment

Banker-bashing, hedge-fund bashing, speculator-bashing: one of the legacies of the financial crisis will surely be a hugely negative perception of financial markets. These are now widely...
Kristian Niemietz
15 July 2010
2 comments

In the early 1960s, Chicago economist Milton Friedman travelled to Hong Kong to meet Sir John Cowperthwaite, the colony’s Financial Secretary. The economic development of Hong Kong had aroused...
Kristian Niemietz
8 July 2010
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In hindsight, what would you say were the largest political achievements of the New Labour government? Whatever you have in mind now, I bet the answer is different from the one which the...
Kristian Niemietz
29 June 2010
5 comments

Some of the old video recorders made in the 1980s had an annoying kink: they could not hold the freeze frame mode for long. Shortly after pressing the pause button, they would automatically switch...
Kristian Niemietz
25 June 2010
7 comments

From the moment Frank Field raised doubts about the validity of relative poverty measures, the outrage industry has been up in arms against him. The poverty enquiry which Field will conduct for the...
Kristian Niemietz
18 June 2010
7 comments

If J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings was re-made into a seasonable film today, it would probably look like this: The Dark Lord Sauron would be replaced by Sir Terry Leahy, while...
Kristian Niemietz
11 June 2010
12 comments

Swinging the axe on benefits and tax credits is no longer taboo after the coalition’s announcements that these spending areas will be scrutinised towards the end of this year. It looks as...
Kristian Niemietz
7 June 2010
3 comments

Michael Gove has hesitantly accepted the inclusion of for-profit schools in the coalitions’ proposed school-choice reforms – a quasi-voucher scheme under which school funding would...
Kristian Niemietz
28 May 2010
7 comments

“The purpose of my life here is to improve the quality of life of the worst off in society.” Such ambitious rhetoric is not unusual for new incumbents at the Department for Work and...
Kristian Niemietz
21 May 2010
7 comments

Once upon a time, an old Nordic legend tells, there lived a princess in Burgundy who owned a huge treasure of gold. One night the treacherous Hagen von Tronje, an advisor to the king, broke into the...