The 38 per cent tipping point on tax
Ed Miliband’s proposal to tax non-doms more harshly may be good, populist politics. But does it make economic sense? At most, the yield will be around £1 billion, even if people do not alter their behaviour in response to the change in policy. The actual amount generated could even be negative if enough non-doms leave the […]
Open borders or fair wages: the left needs to make up its mind
As published in the Guardian on Tuesday 24th March 2015 as part of their ‘Economics – Immigration Special’ Mass immigration increases inequality. This is the unpalatable fact the liberal left in Britain refuses to accept. Markets are imperfect instruments. But it is not necessary to subscribe to free market economic theory to believe that large […]
Do Budgets really matter?
All eyes will be on George Osborne’s Budget today. An immense amount of media attention and serious commentary will be devoted to it. But do Budgets really matter? How much difference would it make if successive chancellors simply did nothing, apart from indexing various allowances and benefits in line with inflation? From time immemorial, British […]
Does Miliband understand the importance of incentives?
Ed Miliband has long had a problem with voters not perceiving him as “normal”. His famous struggle with a bacon sandwich in some ways says it all. But at a much more important level, he seems to have little or no empathy with one of the most fundamental of human motivations. The most profound insight […]
Crocodile tears for the poor
INEQUALITY is now a buzzword in Britain. Scarcely a week goes by without a new publication by an academic or journalist lamenting the levels of poverty facing swathes of the population. They are bolstered by a complicit metropolitan liberal elite, who shed crocodile tears for the poor, while ruminating on the current situation. Unfortunately, much […]
Birthday parties and the NHS: We Need More Markets
Many outrageous things happened around the world during the course of last week. But, judging by both the level of popular interest in the story and reaction to it, the most heinous was the decision of a mother to send an invoice to the parents of a boy who did not turn up to her son’s […]
What the Emily Thornberry saga tells us about macroeconomic policy
It has been a wretched week for Emily Thornberry. The high-flying MP for Islington was sacked as Shadow Attorney General, and widely pilloried in both social media and conventional newsprint for tweeting a picture of a white van and England flags in Strood. Yet the saga tells us more about perception, about the narrative which […]
Can Nanny make you stop drinking?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been the butt of much ridicule over the past week. A pill designed to reduce alcohol consumption among problem drinkers will be made available across the NHS. But the concept of problem drinkers is so wide that it embraces people who enjoy a couple of […]
Open Data: Britain leads the world
The UK economy is doing well. Even so, it is not often that we are placed unequivocally at the top of a world ranking of any kind. But a team of economists led by Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics in Melbourne has done just that. In their recent report on the economic potential created by […]
Herr Doktor Professor Sinn and Disciplining the Mediterranean Countries
The Polish banking and financial elite gathered last week at a conference in the Baltic seaside resort of Sopot. The proceedings were enlivened by the presence on the platform of Jacek Rostowski, one of the two senior Polish politicians caught on tape badmouthing, in very colourful terms, David Cameron for his failure to stand up […]