Author Archives: Rick

Are the Conservatives ideologically driven state-shrinkers?

Are David Cameron and George Osborne small government ideologues hell-bent on shrinking the state? Simon Wren-Lewis thinks so: The goal is to reduce the size of the state, and because (with his encouragement) mediamacro believes reducing the deficit is the … Continue reading

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The Tories and welfare: Machiavellian or just muddling through?

This week, the IFS finished their painstaking task of trying to understand the parties’ tax and spending plans, based on what little they’ve said. There are gaps and inconsistencies in all of them. At first sight, I couldn’t understand why the Conservatives’ … Continue reading

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Recovery: Was that it?

Yesterday’s GDP figures were rubbish. The first quarter of 2015 saw the slowest growth since the economy spluttered in 2012. True, it may, as Chris Giles says, be revised up but even so, 0.3 percent is well below where it should be.  This … Continue reading

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Low productivity: don’t blame the workforce

Allister Heath reckons economists are complaining too much about Britain’s dismal productivity: Too few economists seem prepared to accept that at least some of the UK’s productivity shortfall was a good thing. It happened because a large number of low … Continue reading

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Startups and the productivity puzzle

The productivity puzzle continues to puzzle. It seems to be too puzzling for our politicians to talk about but lots of other people are on the case. Duncan Weldon wrote a piece earlier this week looking at both the economic and … Continue reading

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David Nicholson is right: The NHS will need more money

Former NHS chief executive, David Nicholson, warned last week that the financial problems in the NHS would become “crystal clear” before the year is out. He also said that the plan to make £22 billion in efficiency savings during the next parliament is “a big … Continue reading

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Flip Chart Cat

Our ancient cat died this week at the grand old age of 22 and 2 months. Apparently, that’s equivalent to a human being reaching 104. Born in Brixton on 7 February 1993, she was one of a litter of five. … Continue reading

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