Category: Everyday Economics

The Autumn Statement (or ‘Revenge of the bean-counters!’)

If you believe that there is a £55 billion ‘black hole’ in the public finances, and if you believe this has to be filled with tax increases and spending cuts in order to reassure the markets, then Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement was a reasonably fair way to go about it. But there are some mighty … Continue reading The Autumn Statement (or ‘Revenge of the bean-counters!’)

Rishi Sunak offers greater stability, but also more pain

Let’s start with the good news. This change of Prime Minister undoubtedly makes a difference for the better. The Conservatives have finally found a leader with a decent chance of making it until the next General Election, providing some much-needed political stability. The financial markets have reacted positively too: the pound has strengthened, the cost … Continue reading Rishi Sunak offers greater stability, but also more pain

An online sales tax would be more trouble than it is worth

The UK government has been consulting on the concept of an ‘online sales tax’, or OST, which could raise £1-2 billion annually to help pay for a reduction in business rates for physical retailers. I submitted a response to the consultation, which is available here... ost-consultation-response-20-may-2022-julian-jessopDownload

Weak consumer confidence doesn’t necessarily signal recession

If you believe the media coverage of the latest consumer confidence surveys, household spending is set to collapse under the weight of the cost of living crisis, dragging the UK economy into a deep recession. But how reliable are these signals? As always, it is worth digging past the headlines. The GfK measure of consumer … Continue reading Weak consumer confidence doesn’t necessarily signal recession