Stephen Beer

Breaking out of the lazy framing of the economy debate

Stephen Beer  |  7 April 2015

It is no surprise that economic policy is dominating debate during the election campaign. Labour’s message is that it can offer hope on living standards and growth in combination with a credible fiscal strategy. It faces claims that it wants to borrow up to £30bn more than the Conservatives plan to do and that it …

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What is the ‘One Nation’ response?

Stephen Beer  |  6 December 2012

The chancellor’s autumn statement demonstrated his economic credibility has fallen even lower. Yet it also demonstrated a political reality, which we need to appreciate fast. That is that so far at least he has got away with it. It is not enough for Labour to shout that George Osborne has failed on his own measures. …

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Progressive growth

Stephen Beer  |  5 September 2012

As Labour politicians debate growth strategies, the challenge is to meet the scale of the task. From my perspective as a City investment manager, I have watched as the mood in markets has shifted over the past few months.  Back in 2010, following a period of stimulus, investors focused on the size of public sector …

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Labour’s response to the crisis

Stephen Beer  |  26 July 2012

It is not great news for any government to find that its economic policy has been discredited. The latest GDP figures showed the economy shrank again last quarter, by 0.7 per cent. That must be particularly hard to take for a coalition government formed, it was claimed, to sort out an economic mess. It is …

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Making a British investment bank work

Stephen Beer  |  16 July 2012

Within Ed Miliband’s speech arguing for more bank reform last week was a little-noticed reference to the need for a British investment bank. He stated that since Labour does not believe ‘the banks we already have will be equal to the task of lending enough to small businesses … there is a case for a …

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Beyond ringfencing

Allen Simpson  |  6 July 2012

Bank ringfencing is not only a false hope – it is nowhere near ambitious enough. I know Stephen Beer would be embarrassed if I called him one of the Labour party’s most valuable and underused resources, but there it is. His pamphlet on the economic credibility problem should be required reading for every CLP and …

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Tawney economics

Stephen Beer  |  10 May 2012

Across Europe voters – the people – are reacting against the harsh measures their leaders have decreed are essential for their economic survival.  Elections in France and Greece have not shown simply that people have stuck their heads in the sand and refused to face the inevitable, as some commentators have suggested. People voted against …

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Labour’s national duty

Stephen Beer  |  26 April 2012

Labour has spent years now worrying about how to gain credibility on economic policy. Meanwhile, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are making a good job of losing it. The UK now appears to be back in recession.  Ahead lies the risk that the economy will go backwards this year and put deficit-cutting plans further into …

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Still no growth strategy

Stephen Beer  |  22 March 2012

The main measures in this budget had been well-flagged so there was little in the way of surprises in Osborne’s speech. The cut to the higher rate of tax from 50p to 45p was as expected, as was the increase in personal allowances. These changes will be offset in part by making personal allowances for …

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Avoiding another 1992

Stephen Beer  |  30 November 2011

The chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained an assortment of measures aimed at boosting growth. However, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility does not believe they will have a significant effect. The OBR’s forecasts for the economy and for the UK’s public finances make grim reading. On these projections, austerity will still be under way after the …

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