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Ryan Bourne
5 August 2014
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The classical liberal French economist Frédéric Bastiat once said that ‘government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody...
Philip Booth
1 August 2014
4 comments

In the last week or two there have been calls for taxes on large supermarkets such as Tesco. Twenty local authorities have asked the government for formal powers to tax retailers and such taxes...
Ryan Bourne
29 July 2014
1 comment

‘The UK is becoming a low-skilled, low-pay economy, and ordinary workers aren’t sharing in the proceeds of growth.’ How often do we hear this? Those who articulate these views,...
Stephen Michael MacLean
17 July 2014
1 comment

During Prime Minister’s Questions this week, David Cameron batted back Labour criticism of the government’s economic policy by quoting the Shadow Deputy Prime Minister: ‘I think...
Philip Booth and Ryan Bourne
26 June 2014
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Yesterday, Labour forced a Commons vote on allowing the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to audit the manifestos of political parties. It followed a letter sent by Ed Balls to George Osborne...
Ryan Bourne
17 June 2014
1 comment

The British tax system just isn’t progressive enough, the Equality Trust claimed yesterday. After citing survey figures showing that 68 per cent of the UK population believe households in the...
Christopher Snowdon
15 June 2014
14 comments

A group of charities and campaign groups have written a letter to The Times complaining about what they regard as attempts to 'stifle' debate about the 'causes of poverty'. This comes...
Steven Kates
14 May 2014
2 comments

I am reading the Economist and Financial Times 2013 book of the year, Stephen D. King's When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence. From its pages I can certainly see what the latest...
Philip Booth
12 May 2014
2 comments

No major political party is interested in a radical decentralisation of power. The Conservatives, in particular, are scarred by their experiences of ‘loony-left’ councils in the 1980s,...
Kristian Niemietz
25 April 2014
2 comments

The coalition is considering plans to loosen the rules governing the development of new infrastructure, fracking sites, and potentially housing, to facilitate investment. The specifics are not yet...
Nima Sanandaji and Stefan Fölster
16 April 2014
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As Britain's short term growth prospects improve, pressure for further economic reforms recedes. Over the past two years Parliament has enacted few structural reforms, and the pace is likely to...
Ryan Bourne
15 April 2014
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With the ‘stimulus’ versus ‘austerity’ debate having receded, George Osborne likes to talk instead about his ‘long-term economic plan’. This has been dominated by...
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...
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...
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...
Richard Wellings
19 March 2014
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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...
Kristian Niemietz
18 March 2014
1 comment

Childcare policy used to be a very simple issue. Classical liberals, and many conservatives, used to argue that if parents with young children wanted to earn two salaries, then they should pay for...
Ryan Bourne
18 March 2014
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With Budget day upon us tomorrow, we can expect to be told that we are almost half-way through the government’s planned fiscal consolidation. Politicians will talk about how they are...
Jagadeesh Gokhale
13 March 2014
1 comment

The national budget reports of most developed nations are based on current cash flows of tax collections and government expenditures - and views on national indebtedness are based on metrics such as...
Ryan Bourne
10 March 2014
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There’s just eight days to go until the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his penultimate budget before next year’s general election. In recent years, the budgets have...