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Ryan Bourne
25 February 2015
1 comment

Aside from the much-expected arms race to win the pensioner vote with a host of taxpayer-funded goodies, all parties (bar maybe UKIP) seem to agree that ‘childcare’ is something deserving...
Ryan Bourne
24 February 2015
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In an age of big challenges, the general election campaign seems to be throwing up a host of small ideas. The Labour Party is currently quibbling internally over how to finance a policy of cutting...
Ryan Bourne
18 February 2015
1 comment

Forget all the populist welfare crackdowns dominating the election headlines over the past week. These are small fry compared to the gargantuan task of rolling out the government’s long-awaited...
Ryan Bourne
12 February 2015
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‘Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left’. That twelve-word note left in the Treasury from Liam Byrne, Labour’s former Chief Secretary to the...
Ryan Bourne
10 February 2015
1 comment

The war of words between Boots and the Labour Party has led to much political soul-searching. The salient question seems to be: ‘is Labour anti-business?’ This is not particularly...
Philip Booth and Ryan Bourne
9 February 2015
1 comment

In a recent CapX article, Tim Montgomerie sought to outline ‘10 things that capitalism needs but cannot provide’. There was much to agree with in his article, but we are puzzled by his...
Ryan Bourne
28 January 2015
11 comments

Fairly often the facts get in the way of a good meme. The cricketer Stuart Broad has angered a host of constantly-outraged egalitarians by tweeting that ‘I’ve heard if you earn minimum...
Ryan Bourne
27 January 2015
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George Osborne has recently taken to the cause of securing ‘full employment’. A crude analysis might suggest that this a clever political move to focus attention on a Conservative success...
Ryan Bourne
27 January 2015
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If ‘tax avoidance’ is the answer, what is the question? For many years it might have been: ‘what subject excites only a small number of tax lawyers and HMRC officials?’ But in...
Ryan Bourne
20 January 2015
1 comment

One of the insights of the Public Choice School of economics is that voting groups with more homogenous interests will have much more influence on the political process than those with more diffuse...
Ryan Bourne
19 January 2015
1 comment

Global capitalism has eradicated poverty and generated prosperity in the developing world at an unprecedented rate. You might imagine that a global anti-poverty charity, such as Oxfam, would...
Ryan Bourne
16 January 2015
1 comment

"What is the point of walls and warships and glittering statues if the men who build them are not happy?’ asked Socrates in the 5th century BC. "It is preoccupation with possessions,...
Ryan Bourne
14 January 2015
2 comments

Last week, dreadful headlines and stories on A&E waiting times dominated the front pages of almost every national newspaper. If not for the sickening events in Paris the following day, the NHS...
Ryan Bourne
13 January 2015
6 comments

A lie, repeated often, becomes the truth in the public mind. That’s why, when a Fox News commentator suggests that Birmingham is a “Muslim-only city”, we feel it important to set...
Ryan Bourne
6 January 2015
2 comments

Friday 19 December 2014 was a happy day for many Londoners, marking their last in the office before Christmas. Yet amid all the festivities, you’d have been forgiven for missing something...
Ryan Bourne
29 December 2014
9 comments

The fallout from the Autumn Statement has mainly revolved around one Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) graph and the words of an excitable BBC journalist. The now infamous ‘Chart 1.1...
Ryan Bourne
20 December 2014
3 comments

No, I haven’t morphed into the Grinch. But given I work for an economics think-tank, this subject inevitably led to some heated debate among our colleagues at the staff Christmas party earlier...
Ryan Bourne
2 December 2014
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One hundred and fifty five. That’s the really significant number for those following tomorrow’s Autumn Statement. It’s nothing to do with how much the UK government is borrowing. In...
Philip Booth and Ryan Bourne
25 November 2014
2 comments

Fall-out from the Autumn Statement next week is likely to focus heavily on the slowdown in deficit reduction. Borrowing has been £3.7 billion higher this year so far compared with last, and it...
Ryan Bourne
24 November 2014
2 comments

Recent public finance statistics have suggested that the UK deficit has risen in the first seven months of the financial year 2014/15. The build up to the Autumn Statement has therefore seen much...