Is there any money left?

In 2010, Liam Byrne left a note to his successor as Chief Secretary to the Treasury which famously read “I’m afraid there is no money”. After all, annual borrowing had just peaked at a record £158 billion, and the stock of debt was about to top £1,000 billion for the first time. Roll forward a little over a … Continue reading Is there any money left?

Is Britain winning or losing from Brexit?

Brexit pessimists are having a field day following official confirmation that UK exports to the EU slumped in January – and they have a point. Anything that increases the cost of doing business across borders was always likely to reduce trade. Nonetheless, the first month’s trade figures after the end of the transition period are … Continue reading Is Britain winning or losing from Brexit?

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics on NHS pay”

To be frank, I don’t have a strong view on what nurses should be paid, though I probably wouldn't begrudge them a bigger increase than 1%. Instead, this blog seeks to draw attention to some of the pitfalls in how others are presenting their case. For a start, it seems odd to make up your … Continue reading “Lies, damned lies, and statistics on NHS pay”

Two cheers and one boo for the Budget

On balance, I think Rishi Sunak got more things right than wrong in Wednesday’s Budget. Let’s start with a couple of positives. First, he extended the most important support measures, including the uplift to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme, until the end of September. This is probably longer than strictly necessary because the remaining … Continue reading Two cheers and one boo for the Budget