The Economy

George Osborne, budget

Hidden in the technicalities

Kitty Ussher  |  26 March 2013

The chancellor is probably sighing with relief that, a mere week after the event, his budget does not appear to have unravelled. Indeed, it seems to have ticked all the relevant boxes: a few giveaways to get some headlines paid for by savings achieved through departmental salami-slicing. No very obvious concessions to those arguing that …

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Squeezed Britain

Relieving the squeeze

Kitty Ussher  |  14 February 2013

Politicians, particularly of the Labour variety, are keen to demonstrate that they understand the concept of ‘Squeezed Britain’ but have been less forthcoming as to what a correct policy response might be. But there are some clues as to where an answer could lie from the update on the matter from the Resolution Foundation. We …

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George Osborne

Target practice

Kitty Ussher  |  30 November 2012

The chancellor looks set to miss his self-imposed goals By Kitty Ussher —When George Osborne delivers his autumn statement on 5 December he will have a tricky task to pull off. On the one hand, things could be a lot worse for him. Recent data shows unemployment falling and the economy slowly emerging from recession. …

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The Purple Papers

Economics is about people

Kitty Ussher  |  13 November 2012

The process of discussion and debate on the Purple Papers and The Purple Book that preceded it (of which this blog is part) is a welcome one. But in the sphere of economics, there is more to be gained from the essays that are ostensibly about other subjects than from the paper with that name. …

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The euro

Have we now met the ‘five tests’?

Kitty Ussher  |  13 September 2012

What happened to €urogeddon? If you were to believe the collective hysteria of the UK media a few months back, then surely the euro should’ve collapsed by now, or at least been subject to a few ignominious exits. Those of us who pointed out (including, dare I say, yours truly) that there was little prospect …

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Barclays Bank

The Libor distraction

Kitty Ussher  |  13 July 2012

Manipulating markets constitutes corporate fraud, regardless of whether or not those who engaged in such activities believed they had the cover of the Bank of England to do so. So it’s right that the Serious Fraud Office has been given the resources it needs to investigate Libor-gate and if parliament also wants to conduct its …

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Fullscreen capture 14062012 092749

No Grexit

Kitty Ussher  |  14 June 2012

By law, there are no opinion polls conducted in Greece in the fortnight running up to an election. So the latest data we have on the likely outcome of the poll re-run taking place on Sunday is from the back end of May. At that time, the pro-austerity party New Democracy polled a whisker above …

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George Osborne 2012

The chimera of deregulation

Kitty Ussher  |  10 May 2012

Yesterday’s Queen’s speech exposed a fundamental misunderstanding at the heart of Conservative economic policy. It is not the case, as their actions imply, that the key to unlocking higher levels of growth is to reduce the so-called ‘burdens on business’. The deregulatory initiatives in the Queen’s speech, portrayed as part of a growth agenda, will …

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Waiting for Godot poster

Waiting for growth

Kitty Ussher  |  17 April 2012

Waiting for the economic recovery is beginning to feel a little like waiting for Godot. You keep being told it’s going to appear but it never actually arrives. This week was no exception, with the independent Ernst & Young ITEM club forecasters telling us the economy would only grow by 0.4 per cent this year, …

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Piles of pound coins

We need to talk about taxation

Kitty Ussher  |  8 March 2012

The run-up to this year’s budget will be dominated, as always, by issues of tax and growth. As is usual for the time of year, campaigners are full of whizz-bang ideas to fiddle with the tax rates to further their own interests or cause. And with the economy bumping along the bottom, MPs will be …

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