Monthly Archives: June 2014

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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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

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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

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Stop bashing the young and try giving them work experience

Everybody knows that young people lack the basic skills needed in the workplace. It’s not just a problem with skills. They have bad attitudes too. These reports appear every few months, gleefully covered by the newspapers and providing soundbites for grandstanding MPs. It’s no wonder, then that … Continue reading

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NHS – close to the edge

The £2 billion NHS funding gap made headlines this week. It’s a story we will probably hear every year from now on, with the amount getting slightly bigger each time. Two graphs from the King’s Fund report earlier this year … Continue reading

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Small is not powerful

Adam Lent has written a wonderful piece, Small is Powerful: Escaping the 20th century love of big power, on the end of “big business, big government and big culture”. The future, he says, is small. Smaller businesses, smaller state and a diffusion … Continue reading

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We need public service reform but it won’t be enough on its own

Paul Cotterill reckons I’m wrong. (At least I’m in good company though.) All the people who are accusing the Labour Party of not being honest about tax rises are ignoring its programme for public sector reform, he says. [W]hat apparently … Continue reading

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Rik Mayall

I usually greet news of famous people’s deaths with a bit of a shrug. Of course, it’s sad to hear about someone dying, especially when they are young. Thoughts always go out to people’s families at such times. But I’ve never really … Continue reading

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You will pay more tax (but politicians don’t want to talk about it)

I accused Giles Wilkes of going over to the dark side when he went to work as a Spad. He’s back now though and blogging at a frantic rate. Vince Cable’s loss is the blogosphere’s gain. With the benefit of … Continue reading

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In praise of … the full time job

It was employment stats day yesterday, so a succession of government MPs stood up and parroted the phrase ‘2 million more private sector jobs’, while pretending to ask the Prime Minister a question. Frazer Nelson wrote another piece about the jobs miracle and … Continue reading

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