Don’t blame austerity for the crumbling concrete, Osborne salvaged Britain’s deficit

If only the Conservatives had loosened the purse strings on public spending in the 2010s, the story now goes, all the decrepit buildings could have been fixed. “Austerity” has, of course, become the catch-all word describing the David Cameron and George Osborne policy of restrictions on public spending to control Britain’s financial deficit. This misperception […]

Our approach to energy prices shows we want climate policies only if they’re free

The energy sector continues to grab the headlines. The government has announced the windfall tax on oil and gas companies will be scrapped if prices fall to more normal levels for a sustained period. Cue predictable outrage from the likes of the Green party, who said the government should be “tightening the tax and ensuring […]

Confusion is the keyword for UK bonds as financial markets’ confidence fades

The yields on British government bonds have drifted upwards again. As many commentators have pointed out, we are back at the levels experienced during the short-lived premiership of Liz Truss. An obvious culprit is government debt, now at around 100 per cent of GDP in the UK. This in itself can create anxiety in the […]

Our politicians must wake up to the public debt effect

In a novel by C.P. Snow, a physicist turned author who served as science minister under Harold Wilson in the 1960s, the master of a Cambridge college says that “gratitude isn’t an emotion, but the expectation of gratitude is a very lively one.” The prime minister and her Chancellor may well be having exactly the […]

Low tax regimes only matter as much as their longevity

The tax breaks will, we were told, include 100 per cent relief from business rates on newly occupied business premises, and offsets for companies on spending on new plant and machinery in the first year. Relaxed planning regulations are also set to be part of the package.  The race from local authorities to be included […]

As government debt jumps to fund defence spending, our economy will pay the price

Sanctions will clearly hit the Russian economy very hard. But economic prospects for the West are not exactly rosy. Twice in the 1970s and again in the early 90s, there were rapid spikes in oil prices; each instance was followed by economic recessions. The deep recession following 2008 was, of course, due to financial causes […]

Rishi Sunak vs Boris Johnson: to spend or not to spend?

Rishi Sunak has directed his energy into recasting the Treasury back to its traditional role – the guardian of the public finances. The Chancellor notched up a substantial victory after education recovery tsar, Kevan Collins, resigned earlier this month, after his demand for £15 billion for catch-up programmes in schools was beaten down to a […]

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