Hikes to national insurance funds a level of public services we can’t afford

The government’s plan to increase National Insurance has sparked the predictable furore.  The pressures to raise taxes to pay for the level of public services the electorate have come to expect is hardly new.  The welfare state was created immediately after the Second World War. For a time, the financial demands were held in check. […]

Embracing uncertainty is the only path out of the pandemic

A few days ago, Sajid Javid made one of the most thoughtful and encouraging statements by a government minister during the whole Covid crisis. Early In July, he seemed to be falling under the control of the modellers. The number of daily infections, he stated confidently, would soon reach 100,000, bowing to the so-called experts. […]

Boris Johnson has sown dangerous ambiguity over Covid rules with mixed messaging for Freedom Day

Sixty years ago, Daniel Ellsberg, as a graduate student at Harvard, wrote a now-seminal paper on behavioural economics. The conclusions of “Risk, ambiguity and the Savage axioms” pose a fundamental challenge to the conventional economic model of rational choice, as well as the Government’s current Covid strategy.  Despite its seemingly esoteric nature, an experiment carried […]

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 […]

Student loans perpetuate a broken financial system, it’s time for them to go

Whitehall is preparing for a major tussle over student loans, with the Treasury increasingly concerned about the growing burden and its impact on the nation’s finances. The principle of a student loan seems simple: take one out to cover the cost of your time at university and pay it back when you start to earn […]

To level up, Boris Johnson needs to build homes in satellite towns

A key priority for the government is to revive the fortunes of Britain’s old industrial towns.  Boris Johnson promised to bring jobs and skills directly to these areas, so people no longer need to leave in order to prosper. The economic revival of regional cities in the past two decades or so has put even […]