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 […]

Government scientists must be transparent about flawed Covid models

The strength of the economic recovery as Britain emerges from lockdown is a hotly contested subject among economists. Some believe there will be a massive surge in demand as consumers celebrate their freedom, others argue it will take time to claw back confidence. Economic forecasts are subject to the same faults as any projections, as […]

The curious case of Boris Johnson’s popularity after a year of lockdowns

In 1993, economics Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman published a paper with the enigmatic title “When More Pain Is Preferred to Less”. He and his colleagues conducted two experiments with the same group of people.  In the first, the participants had to hold their hand in cold water for a specified time. They had to keep […]

Calorie counting gimmicks and sugar taxes won’t solve obesity crisis

In the early days of the pandemic obesity was identified as a key factor behind hospitalisation rates and deaths from Covid.  The Prime Minister knew this personally, from his own brush with mortality last April. This is on top of the already well-established links between obesity and other life-threatening conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, […]

Budget 2021: The political consensus on low taxes could be completely wrong

In the run up to most Budgets there is almost always one key question shaping debate: should the screws be tightened or the floodgates opened? This time round, a near unanimous consensus has arisen. Taxes should not go up, for fear of jeopardising the recovery.  Even the Leader of the Labour Party has signed up to […]

Vaccine passports: a free market and plentiful pubs mean they won’t work in the UK

As the country emerges slowly from lockdown, the debate over so-called vaccine passports gathers pace. Yesterday, Matt Hancock confirmed Britain was looking into the proposition for international travel. Countries such as Greece and Spain have a strong incentive to develop a system with us. Each attracts large numbers of British tourists in a normal year. Whatever the […]

Beware those who’d lock us down and throw away the key

Rather like dedicated Remainers, pro-lockdown enthusiasts never seem to give up. Their ardour will have been fuelled by leaks over the weekend of results from the epidemiological models. Apparently, even though quite soon all the over-70s will have been jabbed, lifting restrictions before the summer would lead to a massive third wave of the virus.  […]