Monthly Archives: November 2015

Austerity II: The Devolution

Last week’s spending review took some of the pressure off public service spending. The chancellor now plans to cut much less than he told us he would in March. The difference is so great that, where, until recently, we were expecting … Continue reading

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The U-turn that wasn’t

George Osborne’s headline-grabbing U-turn on tax credits wasn’t really a U-turn at all. To stretch the analogy, he put the indicator on to make it look as if he was going to pull a u-ey but then he just slowed … Continue reading

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Osborne not the Dick Dastardly of state-shrinkage after all

A year or so ago, some of us got into a discussion about whether or not George Osborne is an ideologically driven state-shrinker. Some people think he is, others, including Chris Dillow and me, think he isn’t. Wednesday’s Autumn Statement must surely have settled that … Continue reading


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Chancellor cock-a-hoop as OBR finds money behind the sofa

There will be some sense of relief in the public sector after yesterday’s Autumn Statement. According to the OBR, the £42 billion real terms cut in day-to-day public service spending (RDEL) it forecast only half a year ago is now down to just … Continue reading

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Productivity and the National Living Wage

The CIPD and the Resolution Foundation are collaborating on a piece of research into the impact of the National Living Wage (NLW). According to their first study over half of the country’s employers expect to be affected by it. Around a … Continue reading

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The incredible shrinking gig economy

The New Policy Institute has some interesting charts based on the government’s business population statistics, looking at the rise of businesses with no employees, . Given what we know about the rise in self-employment, we would expect to see an increase in the number … Continue reading

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Dr Cameron’s advice to councils: apply more leeches

The Oxford Mail has published an exchange of letters between David Cameron and the Conservative leader of his local council, Ian Hudspeth, in which the prime minister expresses his concern about cuts to local services. In reply, the council leader politely explains that he is … Continue reading

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Herding wildcats – good luck with that one!

The Trade Union Bill has its third reading this week. It will almost certainly be passed, now that some of the unworkable bits of it have been dropped. The bill is a political stunt. There is no practical reason for it … Continue reading

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How the government could avoid tax credit cuts

The Resolution Foundation published a paper on tax credits yesterday. Just in case anyone is still in any doubt, it showed that the combined effect of tax cuts, the National Living Wage and cuts to tax credits will pivot at somewhere around … Continue reading

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The gig economy: don’t give up your day job

Everybody seems to be talking about the gig economy at the moment. It’s an ill-defined term but basically it means more people making their living by picking up bits of freelance work through online marketplaces. Every so often, a survey, usually … Continue reading

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