Author: julianhjessop

Five times the City got it wrong on Brexit

"Buy British, Goldman Sachs tells clients". I had mixed feelings on reading this headline. It’s reassuring that the City is waking up to the prospect of an upturn in the economy next year. Goldman is surely right that clarity on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU should emerge sooner under a Conservative … Continue reading Five times the City got it wrong on Brexit

The Digital Services Tax is a terrible idea

Digital taxes are clearly a popular way for politicians to tap into hostility towards the tech giants. The Conservatives seem determined to press ahead with plans for a 'Digital Services Tax' (DST) and the necessary legislation is already in the latest draft Finance Bill. Labour and the Liberal Democrats would go even further. But the DST … Continue reading The Digital Services Tax is a terrible idea

Does the increase in public debt mean that ‘Tory austerity’ failed?

I’m seeing lots of variations on ‘how can the Tories criticise Labour’s borrowing plans when debt has risen by £800 billion under their watch?’. But while there may indeed be good reasons to criticise the Conservatives' track record on fiscal policy, the increase in public debt is not one of them. It might help to … Continue reading Does the increase in public debt mean that ‘Tory austerity’ failed?

Labour’s ‘free broadband’ would come at a heavy price

The Labour Party has set out plans “to deliver fast and free full-fibre broadband for all by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service”. This is bad economics. There is no doubt that the wider availability of broadband would be a ‘good thing’. Indeed, the case was … Continue reading Labour’s ‘free broadband’ would come at a heavy price

Why I prefer the Tories’ new fiscal rules to Labour’s

The latest fiscal pledges from Sajid Javid and John McDonnell are similar in some respects, but very different in others. In short, both the Conservatives and Labour are planning to ramp up government spending, especially on investment, and have proposed new fiscal rules which should allow them to do so. However, Labour’s plans are much … Continue reading Why I prefer the Tories’ new fiscal rules to Labour’s

What would Boris’ deal mean for the economy?

According to Brexit pessimists, the UK economy is already as much as 3% smaller than it would have been if the UK had voted to remain in the EU, and the deal that Boris Johnson’s government has negotiated could reduce GDP by another 7% over the next ten years. Fortunately, neither of these numbers stands … Continue reading What would Boris’ deal mean for the economy?