Category Archives: Uncategorized

Comparative recovery

The UK will grow faster in 2014 than any of the other major economies, the International Monetary Fund said last week. It gave George Osborne something to crow about and the chance to have a dig at the IMF for its … Continue reading

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The social media pillory

Last week there was an almighty row about people taking pictures of women eating on the Tube and posting them on Facebook. Going by the media and Twitter commentary, everybody seemed to agree that this was a Bad Thing. Even the BBC Breakfast presenters … Continue reading

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More freelancers than public employees: Is that really a Good Thing?

Ben Dellot started something when he suggested that there might be more self-employed workers than public sector employees by 2018. Number of self-employed and public sector workers 2010 -2020 Rob Grant pitched in, saying he reckons that London has already gone past … Continue reading

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Waiting in vain for the rebound

Around the time of the budget, I heard quite a lot of talk about the economy returning to its pre-crisis level this year. If the OBR’s forecasts are right, growth in 2014 should see the economy making up the GDP lost in 2008 … Continue reading

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Is the state shrinking?

Almost as soon as the austerity thing started, right-ish commentators started complaining that the government was not really planning any significant spending cuts. Here’s John Redwood barely a month after the Coalition took office. Allister Heath made a similar complaint in the Telegraph in January … Continue reading

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The working poor and the welfare cap

The details of the government’s planned cap on welfare budgets is published in the OBR’s Economic and fiscal outlook. It’s interesting to see what’s in and what’s out. The main benefits for the unemployed and, of course, pensions, are outside the … Continue reading

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Public finances: The picture is largely unchanged

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition this. One day, the government proclaims the brilliance of its budget, talks up the economic forecasts and claims that ‘the plan is working’.  Then the next day, the Institute for Fiscal studies pours … Continue reading

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Is wealth inequality just getting back to normal?

Yesterday’s Guardian led with the headline “Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20%“. The story came from this Oxfam report which said: The richest 5 families in Britain are wealthier than the bottom 20 percent of the population in the UK (with a wealth of £28.2 billion … Continue reading

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Bob Crow

As others have noted, now he’s dead, even the people who once portrayed Bob Crow as a militant fanatic seem to have nothing but praise for him. Out of the way and no longer a danger, it’s safe to eulogise … Continue reading

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What happens when the pensions run out?

My late father-in-law used to joke about the pensioners jugging up in the pubs and clubs of South Wales. He reckoned the old folk drank more than the youngsters. It certainly seemed that way last time I was in his … Continue reading

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