Tag: coronavirus

It’s still far too soon to unwrap ‘Plan B’

If the latest rumours are correct, the UK government will soon announce new Covid restrictions in response to the spread of the Omicron variant. Throughout the pandemic my instinct has been to give the policy-makers and their advisors the benefit of the doubt. But any such move now would make little sense. Starting with the … Continue reading It’s still far too soon to unwrap ‘Plan B’

A quick primer on ‘Omicronomics’

Here are some first thoughts on 'Omicronomics', or the economic impact of the new Covid restrictions announced for England over the weekend. The main short-term risk to the UK economy comes from the tightening of the self-isolation rules: contacts of those testing positive for the Omicron variant will have to stay at home for up … Continue reading A quick primer on ‘Omicronomics’

Importing is “GREAT”, too

The UK government promotes international trade under the banner ‘Exporting is GREAT’. This is laudable, but the economic benefits of free trade come mainly from what countries import, rather than from what they sell overseas. This is the main message from a paper I wrote recently for the Institute of Economic Affairs. Of course, it is not … Continue reading Importing is “GREAT”, too

A pensions tax raid isn’t just bad politics, it’s awful economics

Here we go again. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Treasury officials are “drawing up plans” for a pensions tax raid in the autumn to help pay for Covid. It might be more accurate to say that old plans are now being ‘dusted off’, but the quality of debate does not seem to have improved. For a … Continue reading A pensions tax raid isn’t just bad politics, it’s awful economics