Sunak’s flexibility has been curtailed by our undue reverence for the Bank of England

Rishi Sunak will deliver an updated Autumn Statement next week, after Liz Truss’ so-called “mini-budget” triggered her demise. His freedom for manoeuvre has been sharply contained by the new found reverence being accorded to the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility. The Bank of England has forecast a long recession, which could […]

How Truss pays for her plan for energy prices is just as important as what she does

Our new prime minister already has a long list of detractors. Yet something many are failing to take notice of is how well she grasps the fundamental importance of generating economic growth. This is the central issue facing the economy and it will determine how, ultimately, we pay for an intervention in the energy market. […]

As we look back on pandemic mistakes, we need to count livelihoods in our losses

Ministers don’t need to face the inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic until next spring, the chair of the probe, Heather Hallet, announced this week.  As part of its mandate, the inquiry will “listen to and consider carefully” the experiences of those who lost family members or “have suffered hardship or loss” as a result of […]

The mountain of debt cannot be ignored no matter how much the economy grows

Politicians and regulators are increasingly concerned about one phenomenon: buy-now-pay-later (BNPL). Nearly a year ago, the government agreed to regulate BNPL lenders, with an independent review chaired by City expert Christopher Woolard warning the sector represented a “significant potential consumer harm”. A Treasury consultation on BNPL only closed at the end of last year. It […]

Britons squeamish to spend their savings are jeopardising our economic recovery

The economic recovery is under threat. British consumers are saving and not spending. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that during lockdown, households accumulated a massive £180bn of so-called “excess savings”.   Earlier in the year, most economic forecasts assumed that these would be run down. Lockdown had constrained people’s normal behaviour and with the […]

From taxes to cats, May’s government has been an affront to Tory ideology

British cat

Theresa May has finally announced her resignation. How can we capture the flavour of her tenure in office? This can be found in the dry and measured content of the Economic and Fiscal Outlook from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The OBR stated in its latest publication in March 2019 that: “the tax receipts-to-GDP […]