Author Archives: Rick

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In praise of … covering your back

I have read three very good pieces on the phone hacking trail. This one from Nick Davies, explains the power dynamics. James Doleman, who sat through the whole thing, explains why Andy Coulson was found guilty and why Rebekah Brooks wasn’t. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Zero hours contracts: How far can (and should) the law go?

Not everyone is happy with the government’s proposed legislation on zero hours contracts. The TUC said it doesn’t go far enough, UNISON called for much tougher measures and John Philpott dismissed it as kitten toothed. Of the recommendations in Norman Pickavance’s report, published … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments