Why Q2’s fall in UK GDP isn’t a game changer

To begin with, let’s be clear that the UK’s second quarter GDP data were disappointing. The 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) fall was the first decline since 2012, and also bigger than expected (the consensus forecast was for no change). What’s more, the UK was, at the time, the only major economy to report an outright fall in … Continue reading Why Q2’s fall in UK GDP isn’t a game changer

Time to delete the tech tax

The usual suspects have taken Amazon’s 25th birthday as the excuse to rehash accusations that the company is under-paying tax. Jeremy Corbyn’s message of ‘many happy tax returns’ was at least witty, but it still shows little grasp of basic economics, let alone how the tax system actually works. Unfortunately, the Conservative government also seems … Continue reading Time to delete the tech tax

Should English water be renationalised?

If there’s one industry where it should be possible to make a decent case for renationalisation, it’s surely water. The water and sewerage utilities provide an essential service, have many features of a natural monopoly, and need high levels of investment that could, in principle, be financed more cheaply by government. Labour’s 2017 Manifesto claimed … Continue reading Should English water be renationalised?

NHS scaremongering shouldn’t block a US-UK trade deal

‘Americans want our NHS’, ‘people before profits’, ‘#NHSNotForSale’… it’s always been difficult to have a sensible discussion about healthcare in the UK, but if you combine the NHS with both Brexit and Trump, it seems almost impossible. Fortunately, there are still some people – even on Twitter – who are willing to engage in constructive … Continue reading NHS scaremongering shouldn’t block a US-UK trade deal

Let’s try to keep politics out of setting minimum wages

The auction continues. One week, Chancellor Philip Hammond is said to be contemplating a large increase in the national minimum wage in an attempt to ‘end low pay’. Next, Labour has responded by extending its plans for a higher £10-an-hour minimum wage to include workers under the age of 18. These might sound like great ideas, … Continue reading Let’s try to keep politics out of setting minimum wages