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Richard Wellings
16 May 2014
8 comments

The government spends a staggering £90 billion per annum on education. It is the largest item after health and welfare. However, there is relatively little discussion of whether resources are...
Richard Wellings
19 March 2014
comments

History is unlikely to be kind to George Osborne. Four years after he became Chancellor, the national debt has exploded, the budget deficit remains at dangerously high levels and an increasing share...
Philip Booth and Richard Wellings
19 November 2013
comments

If we look at the performance of high-tax Western countries – which includes, amongst others, every EU country, plus the US – it is grim. These are the countries which, despite their high...
Richard Wellings
4 October 2013
3 comments

The government’s deregulation programme doesn’t seem to be progressing very well. Indeed during the recent party conference season numerous additional regulatory burdens were proposed....
Richard Wellings
19 August 2013
3 comments

In a 1965 book, The Logic of Collective Action, the American economist Mancur Olson explores the impact of special interest groups on the political process. Olson’s hypotheses are derived from...
Richard Wellings
9 May 2013
48 comments

If major roads were privately owned and freed of government regulation, the setting of speed limits would be a commercial decision. Entrepreneurs would seek to attract customers to their routes in...
Richard Wellings
20 March 2013
comments

George Osborne continues to make the same error he made in previous budgets. He is assuming the British economy will return to robust growth from 2014 onwards and that this will deliver the higher...
Richard Wellings
6 February 2013
3 comments

The British government is right to be examining ways of shielding taxpayers from the costs of bank failure. However, proposals to ring-fence the retail operations of banks, and indeed to give the...
Richard Wellings
22 January 2013
13 comments

Taxpayer subsidies to the rail sector have reached astronomical levels. At £6 billion per year (including Crossrail), they have roughly trebled in real terms over the last twenty years. But...
Richard Wellings
5 December 2012
2 comments

At the time of the last Autumn statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was predicting growth of 0.7 per cent in 2012, followed by 2.1 per cent in 2013, 2.7 per cent in 2014 and a...
Richard Wellings
23 November 2012
2 comments

Today’s agreement on energy policy, ahead of the forthcoming introduction of the Energy Bill, shows the government remains committed to meeting ambitious targets on greenhouse gas...
Richard Wellings
19 November 2012
27 comments

According to a review commissioned by the Department of Social Security, ‘the costs of travelling to work will ... be a factor in some people’s decisions about whether to look for or...
Richard Wellings
29 October 2012
comments

  The government’s new plan for a two-tier road tax system has many shortcomings. In particular, it fails to address the economic distortions created by a fiscal framework that taxes...
Richard Wellings
22 August 2012
4 comments

Relying on growth was always going to be a risky strategy. Yet a healthy recovery, with robust GDP increases of 2%-plus, formed the core of the government’s deficit reduction plan. In this...
Richard Wellings
17 July 2012
4 comments

Is electrifying branch lines in Wales a top priority for transport investment? It seems unlikely. But then again the government’s plans to invest £9.4bn in rail infrastructure show...
Richard Wellings
26 April 2012
4 comments

  Mancur Olson is best known for his 1965 book, The Logic of Collective Action, in which he explained why small, concentrated interest groups are more likely to influence policy than large,...
Richard Wellings
23 January 2012
138 comments

The National Health Service enjoys strong support among the public, making it almost impossible to introduce radical reforms, even if the performance of the NHS is relatively poor compared with...
Richard Wellings
19 January 2012
1 comment

Capitalism has a problem. Increasingly it is viewed as a deeply unfair system favouring a small, privileged elite at the expense of everyone else. Our politicians have been quick to join the...
Richard Wellings
11 January 2012
7 comments

Housing minister Grant Shapps recently announced plans to make the unauthorised subletting of social housing a criminal offence, with offenders facing up to two years in prison. The...
Richard Wellings
21 December 2011
1 comment

As the economic slump persists, calls are growing for an increase in infrastructure spending as a means of boosting growth. Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have announced plans for the delivery...