Author Archives: Rick

The British economy’s long bath

This was a watershed month for the UK’s slow recovery, with a number of things finally getting back to where they were before the recession. In July, GDP, the employment rate and the number of full-time jobs edged above 2008 levels. The FT … Continue reading

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Tony Blair’s leadership

The anniversary of Tony Blair’s election as Labour leader prompted several re-appraisals of the man and his time in power. Even though he has been vilified since leaving office, many on the centre left, and quite a few others too, look … Continue reading

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Austerity: Yesterday’s news. And tomorrow’s!

Compared to previous years, there wasn’t much reaction to the OBR’s Fiscal Sustainability Report. OK, there was a hurrumph from Jeremy Warner, as you might expect, but that was about it. This may simply be because the OBR’s outlook was a … Continue reading

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The self-employed: Not employees but not always business people either

Even though the number of employees is now rising steadily, self-employment continues to increase as well, hitting another record level this month. As ever, the Resolution Foundation were quick off the mark with a chart. Politicians and journalists seem to have … Continue reading

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Strikingly stupid

Conservative ministers used this week’s public sector strike as an opportunity to revive the idea of further legal restrictions on industrial action. Raising the threshold to 50 percent of  a those entitled to vote seems to be the most talked-about option and the one championed by Boris Johnson. … Continue reading

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Self-employment: the punch bag of the recession

A report by the Resolution Foundation this week highlights the mismatch between official employment and pay data. When it talks about employment and job creation, the government includes the self-employed. When it comes to pay, though, the incomes of the self-employed are left out. … Continue reading

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Why I’m striking today (Guest post from a public servant)

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who said, “I’m going on strike on 10 July.” I was so surprised (this person is a former Tory party member and about as un-militant as you can get) that … Continue reading

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Immigration and the jobs miracle

Conservative MPs are demanding a cap on immigration from EU countries as part of whatever renegotiation of membership the government manages after the next election. David Cameron is making the sort of noises that will appease his backbenchers though I wonder if he really … Continue reading

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Hollowing out the tax base

Reaction to the ONS announcement that 52 percent of households receive more in benefits than they pay in tax was predictable, though not quite as hysterical as it has been in previous years. This piece in the Daily Mail was quite balanced. A … Continue reading

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Public spending mitigates inequality – at least, for now

The ONS published a report on the effects of taxes and benefits on household income last week. It showed a recent slight increase in inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, though nowhere near the sort of steep rise we saw … Continue reading

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