In the good old days, economists could gauge the health of the UK labour market simply by glancing at the unemployment rate. The latest official figure is still just 3.7 per cent, which suggests all is well. Unemployment has not been this low since the early 1970s. Put another way, the vast majority of people … Continue reading Why is the UK short of workers and what should be done about it?
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)
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