Monthly Archives: January 2011

Will the VAT rise be bad for business?

YES There has been widespread criticism of the government’s decision to raise VAT from 17.5 to 20 per cent. This is hardly surprising since the increase will hit every household in the country. Indeed, the Adam Smith Institute recently calculated … Continue reading

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The Scotland Bill in three minutes

Parliament will debate the Scotland Bill today, which among other things proposes to devolve some fiscal autonomy to the Scottish Parliament. I’ve written a 3-minute guide to the Bill, outlining and assessing its proposals, and arguing that it doesn’t go … Continue reading

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Stagflation, anyone?

Mark Field MP had an excellent article on ConservativeHome yesterday, asking whether the authorities have decided that dealing with inflation will be too painful, and are tacitly accepting above target inflation as the price of not derailing the economic recovery. … Continue reading

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Inflation, again

In his City AM editorial today, Allister Heath notes that inflation does have some benefits (most obviously, it erodes the debt burden for government, companies and households). His conclusion, however, is a robust one: On balance, however, using inflation to … Continue reading

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What a free market in healthcare would look like

There are pluses and minuses to the health reforms proposed by the government. On the plus side, the reforms will give patients greater choice and practitioners greater freedom. Both those things should drive up quality. Meanwhile, introducing (some) competition on … Continue reading

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Chinese Bubbles

I’m always a little surprised to hear free market economists waxing lyrical about China. True, China has taken some extraordinary steps forward since they began to liberalize their economy, and many people have been lifted out of poverty as a … Continue reading

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A few points on bank bonuses

Bank bonuses had nothing to do with the financial crisis. The fundamental issue was low interest rates leading to an unsustainable credit bubble, which was compounded by a variety of factors, ranging from housing policies, accounting rules and capital requirements, … Continue reading

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