Category: Poverty

The case for a real-terms benefit cut is weak – and it would be political madness

The reluctance of both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister to confirm that non-pensioner benefits (notably Universal Credit) will be uprated next year in line with inflation has fed speculation that the Government is considering a real-terms cut. My advice would be to squash this idea as soon as possible – mainly because it is … Continue reading The case for a real-terms benefit cut is weak – and it would be political madness

The pros (and cons) of cutting VAT

Liz Truss is apparently mulling the ‘nuclear’ option of cutting the standard rate of VAT by five percentage points to support the economy. This has triggered a predictable backlash from my fellow policy wonks, led by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). However, in these extraordinary times, every lever may have to be pulled. The … Continue reading The pros (and cons) of cutting VAT

When facts change, fiscal policy should change too

Putin’s murderous assault on the people of Ukraine is a threat to peace and security worldwide. But someone also has to worry about the impact on the UK economy. The fallout should prompt a rethink of the response to the cost of living crisis and the tax hikes planned for April. The catastrophe in Ukraine … Continue reading When facts change, fiscal policy should change too