Liz Truss has pledged to put Covid debt on a ‘longer-term footing’ as part of her bid to become the next Prime Minister. The details are sketchy, but the proposal seems to be to extend the maturity of £311 billion of pandemic-related borrowing to lock in low interest rates, and to slow the pace of … Continue reading Is Liz Truss on the right track on ‘Covid debt’?
Sajid Javid has made a good attempt at defending the increases in National Insurance rates for workers and businesses, arguing that they are both right and fair. But he is still wrong. Speaking to Sky News, Javid said that “when we spend money on public services, whether it’s NHS or anything else for that matter, … Continue reading National Insurance is still the wrong tax, at the wrong time
ITV’s Robert Peston has understandably made a lot of audit reports showing “£8.7 billion of losses on PPE [personal protective equipment] in government accounts”. There is plenty more ammunition here too for those claiming that there was a ‘pandemic of waste and fraud’, ‘contracts for mates’, and ‘Tory sleaze’. The reality, though, is a little … Continue reading ‘Tory PPE losses’ are forgivable (mostly)
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