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. […]

Time for the Treasury to get with the programme — Britain can afford to spend

HM Treasury

In the days of the old Soviet Union, so-called Kremlinologists would pore over every utterance of the Politburo, every sentence in Pravda, to try to work out what was really going on. Sajid Javid’s defenestration from the Treasury has led to an upsurge in similar types of intellectual effort here. What was it really all […]

Watch out fiscal conservatives – the mood has shifted and the spending taps are on

Tap

The Autumn Spending Review announced by the chancellor Sajid Javid barely raised a ripple last week. Yet the increase planned in 2020/21 for what the Treasury calls “day-to-day departmental spending” is the highest for 15 years, no less than 4.1 per cent in real terms. This spending pays the running costs of public services, the […]

Stamp duty contortions and eco-warriors with private jets? Welcome to silly season

Private Jet

August is traditionally the silly season. Brexit makes this year slightly different, of course, but it is good to see a fine British tradition still being preserved. Silly stories abound. Sajid Javid was linked (erroneously, he now claims) with the idea of fixing the housing market by making sellers pay the stamp duty rather than the […]