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Ryan Bourne
18 July 2014
17 comments

As the discussion regarding the future of the BBC licence fee rumbles on ahead of the 2016 Charter Review, the BBC’s Director of Policy James Heath has helpfully laid out in two separate blog...
Stephen Littlechild
3 July 2014
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Ofgem has referred the retail energy market for investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This is the right decision, for the wrong reasons. Most of Ofgem’s concerns are...
John H. Cochrane
27 June 2014
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    Hoover's Peregrine asked me to write an essay with the title, ‘What is the optimal number of immigrants to the US?’   My answer: Two billion, two million,...
Stephen Littlechild
11 June 2014
1 comment

Ofgem’s chickens are coming home to roost, and the energy market regulator now faces a choice. It must decide whether it really is sensible to enforce the restrictions on energy suppliers it...
Philip Booth
4 June 2014
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In the Queen’s Speech today, the government is likely to give the go-ahead for large pension schemes along Dutch lines. Such collective defined contribution schemes have many advantages. They...
Philip Booth
7 May 2014
2 comments

Our financial regulators are not known for their incisive economic analysis, but more for tying up in red tape sectors of the economy that were hitherto performing tolerably well – normally...
Ryan Bourne
7 May 2014
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Over the past week, the Labour Party has announced new policies on housing. Billed as attempts to help alleviate the ‘cost of living crisis’, the proposals comprise three elements: -...
Kristian Niemietz
2 May 2014
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To deal with the problem of escalating rents, Ed Miliband plans to introduce what amounts to a variation of ‘second generation rent controls’ (SGRCs). Under SGRCs, landlords are free to...
Ryan Bourne
22 April 2014
1 comment

Pay growth at 1.7 per cent, inflation at 1.6 per cent on the consumer price index (CPI), real wages increasing. One commentator stated this was the coalition’s ‘mission accomplished...
Ryan Bourne
8 April 2014
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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...
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....
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...
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...
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....
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...
Kristian Niemietz
10 March 2014
3 comments

Ah, rent controls. It is one of those ideas, like the Living Wage and higher taxes for the rich, that just about everybody seems to be in favour of these days, especially in London. And clearly, the...
Ryan Bourne
4 March 2014
1 comment

We should expect to hear much more about the future of the BBC in the next few months. Its Royal Charter is due for renewal in 2016, and there have already been murmurings about the sustainability of...
Philip Booth
28 February 2014
5 comments

With the election phoney war now under way, it appears that the main issue dividing the parties will be the cost of living. Unfortunately, politicians seem to have no real ambition to resolve the...
Philip Booth
20 February 2014
1 comment

After the financial crisis regulators, central bankers and politicians all agreed that we needed more financial regulation. Despite their failings they wanted their powers enhanced – especially...
Ryan Bourne
11 February 2014
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‘In our age’ George Orwell once remarked, ‘there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics”. All issues are political issues.’ This, of course, is mainly...