Monthly Archives: October 2015

Osborne’s National Living Wage: Why it won’t work and why it just might

Despite all the rhetoric about the Conservatives becoming the workers’ party, George Osborne’s masterstroke National Living Wage (NLW) is really just another deficit reduction policy. The government has realised that the deficit is a labour market thing and that the only way to … Continue reading

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Nowhere to go on tax credit cuts

The work and pensions select committee asked the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies about the options available to mitigate the effect of tax credit cuts. According to the FT, Torsten Bell and Paul Johnson told them there … Continue reading

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Is Britain losing interest in foreign affairs?

The UK’s new golden relationship with China has been met with a mixture of bafflement and contempt by its allies. The FT reports: [T]he regular encrypted cables sent back to European and North American capitals over recent weeks have been … Continue reading

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The jobs miracle: digging deeper

The job figures have been looking much better recently. The employment rate continues to rise and wages have even started picking up. The number of full-time employee jobs passed its pre-recession level sometime last year, so the recovery no longer looks as dependent … Continue reading

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Selling Britain by the yuan

Apparently the Chinese state media rather liked George Osborne when he visited a few weeks ago. “Humility is the right attitude,” said the the Global Times, according to this translation in the Spectator, which went on to comment: The article … Continue reading

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Tory opposition to tax credit cuts: arithmetically challenged

Back in April, Patrick Butler predicted that cuts to in-work benefits would “surprise and frighten Tory voters.” If Thursday’s Question Time is anything to go by, he was right. An angry Conservative voter tore into energy minister Amber Rudd over the government’s … Continue reading

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Will the low-paid self-employed undercut the minimum wage?

The monthly ONS employment figures published this week showed the number of self-employed continuing its gentle decline from last summer’s peak. The improved employment situation and rising wages are probably tempting people back into employee jobs. A couple of reports were published earlier … Continue reading

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Backing the fiscal charter = abandoning opposition

There’s a great piece in today’s FT on why the government’s fiscal charter is a really stupid idea and why the Labour Party messed up by even considering supporting it. Firstly, there is the principle of the thing: Declaratory laws … Continue reading

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Why did our GDP growth leave the country?

It’s official then. Per capita GDP is now back to its pre-crisis level. Does that mean we can finally say the aftershock of 2007-08 is over? Not quite. Alongside its GDP measures, the ONS also calculates Net National Disposable Income (NNDI) – … Continue reading

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