Category: UK economy

Time to ditch the National Insurance hike

The case for scrapping the increase in National Insurance contributions (NICs) planned for April is now so overwhelming that is hard to find good arguments in favour of keeping it. I’ve seen a few, but they are easy to knock down. Nick Macpherson, formerly the top civil servant at the Treasury, has tweeted that ‘National … Continue reading Time to ditch the National Insurance hike

Consensus is too pessimistic on the UK economy (again)

I’ve just updated my UK GDP forecasts with today’s data for November. Here are ten key points, including some international comparisons. 1. UK economic growth in 2021 is likely to be just shy of 7½%, 1% higher than assumed in the October Budget and 3% higher than the consensus in the Treasury survey at the … Continue reading Consensus is too pessimistic on the UK economy (again)

Put April’s tax rises on hold and let growth fix the public finances

First, the bad news. UK consumer price inflation has already hit 5.1pc in the 12 months to November. And it is likely to rise further in the coming months as businesses pass on more of the price pressure that is already in the pipeline. In particular, the energy regulator Ofgem is reviewing its cap on … Continue reading Put April’s tax rises on hold and let growth fix the public finances

Why economists should sit on SAGE

Throughout the pandemic, our politicians have been urged to “follow the science” or, more accurately, the advice provided by medical scientists. Other disciplines play only a bit part. There are Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) sub-groups assessing the impacts of Covid on the provision of social care, or minority ethnic groups, but what about … Continue reading Why economists should sit on SAGE