Category: Applied economics

No, Observer: ‘free-market think-tanks’ haven’t changed their tune

This Sunday the Observer ran a frontpage story headlined ‘rightwing thinktanks call time on austerity era’. I was quoted in the article, wearing my IEA hat, as were representatives of the Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies and Policy Exchange. As it happens, I am happy with the specific comments attributed to me, which … Continue reading No, Observer: ‘free-market think-tanks’ haven’t changed their tune

No need for ‘austerity’ – as long as lockdown doesn’t last much longer

The media has been dominated this week by scary headlines about the ‘mother of all recessions’, ballooning government borrowing, and the prospect of renewed ‘austerity', whether in the form of public spending cuts or punishing tax increases. As usual, a sense of context and perspective is sorely needed. Let’s deal first with the numbers released … Continue reading No need for ‘austerity’ – as long as lockdown doesn’t last much longer

Six reasons to be optimistic about the economic recovery

The economic data to be reported over the next few weeks will be pretty grim, adding to the social costs of coronavirus. But if you look beyond the headlines, there are at least half a dozen good reasons to be positive about the prospects for the recovery that will follow. First, the recovery has already … Continue reading Six reasons to be optimistic about the economic recovery

The UK’s labour market needs to be allowed to work

There may not be many reasons for optimism about the economic outlook, but one is the relative flexibility of the UK labour market. This should help unemployment to fall back and activity to recover more quickly – provided the government gets out of the way. There is no doubt that many jobs are being lost … Continue reading The UK’s labour market needs to be allowed to work

How will we pay for all this?

The coronavirus pandemic is of course primarily a social crisis, but the fiscal costs are also important. A sharp and sustained deterioration in the public finances could have major implications for future government spending and taxation. Many are already asking 'how will we pay for all this?' and worried about the prospect of 'Austerity 2.0'. … Continue reading How will we pay for all this?