Opinion

IMPROVING the UK’s lagging productivity record is a hot topic among economists and politicians at the moment.

DAVID Cameron is feeling the heat. This is not just a consequence of the sudden dramatic rise in London temperatures.

DURING my two decades in the financial services industry, I always enjoyed the important annual events that bring the industry together.

Given the stunning events of the weekend, it’s easy to forget that, just ten days ago, the creditors and Greece were both making positive statements about progress towards a solution to the Greek bailout crisis.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, two former chancellors and 160 Tory MPs are calling for the 45 per cent income tax rate to be reduced to 40 per cent.

Almost every week, another story portrays the City as a bastion of chauvinism, where women are underpaid and undervalued, dominated by macho males and discriminated against.

Don’t we just love a media-fuelled battle for supremacy, the winner in the ‘big race’, Goliaths all lining up for the 100 metre Dad’s dash? 
 
“I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”– John Donne
 

Housing has been the public policy “elephant in the room” for too long.

A starter for ten. How much of the land in the London Borough of Southwark is owned by Southwark Council? 10 per cent? 20 per cent? More?

As an undergraduate student, I spent an Erasmus semester in a small town in Spain. During a flat viewing, the landlady who showed me around pointed at the microwave in the kitchen, and said: “This is a microwave.

The UK and other western economies face the prospect of an ageing population.

Digital disruption is snapping at the heels of London’s corporates.

Speaking outside Number 10 on 8th May, the Prime Minister declared that his new government’s mission was “ensuring this recovery reaches all parts of our country.”

Smaller quoted companies are vital to generating long-term sustainable economic growth and creating jobs. Smaller enterprises have the capacity for dynamic growth, development of new markets and sustainable job creation.

There are times when you should be afraid, very afraid. This might be one of them.

London's infrastructure is struggling to cope.

Technological change is fuelling improvements in workplace efficiency, and the power of digital technology to boost productivity should not be forgotten.

The latest cyclist casualty figures from TfL look like good news.
It was not long after the Conservative general election victory that the campaign for the UK to stay in the European Union was launched – no matter how disappointing the results of David Cameron’s renegotiation might be.
 

The gracious Palladian architecture of Edinburgh has often led the city to be described as the Athens of the North. If the referendum result had gone the other way, much closer parallels would have rapidly emerged.

Philanthropy is thriving, but it is growing at a grass roots level, as well as among the wealthy, as technology drives change.
 

It’s time for business leaders to end the culture of secrecy over salaries and what men and women earn.

National Women in Engineering Day isn’t just  a celebration. It’s a landmark opportunity to draw attention to a critical economic factor that can no longer be ignored: women need to fill an ever-growing engineering skills gap. 
London is braced for the worst tube disruption in a decade next month if Tube workers and their unions decide to go ahead with planned strike action. For some empl

According to recent media reports, the decision to build a new runway could face further delay. It seems the government may not respond to the Airports Commission’s imminent report until the end of this year, or possibly early next year.

Bruce Springsteen may have been “Born in the USA”, but he says he’d prefer the US to be more like Sweden.

There are, apparently, still hopes that some deal can be done with Greece this week so that the final €7.2bn tranche of the current €240bn bailout can be released.

Jumping the shark” is one of my favourite American idioms.

Financial services” does not equal “London”. This is my message overseas – but it is equally important to say it on these shores as well.

Oxford Street needs to be pedestrianised. There is a growing consensus about this among traders, transport operators, and local councils. The question is when and how.

Extending London’s airport capacity will be a key issue for the next mayor. It is not something that we can afford to keep pushing into the long grass.
 
Twenty years ago today, on 19 June 1995, London Stock Exchange launched Aim, a new market for ambitious growing businesses.

Every good story has its dark moment, a crisis that comes before a resolution. The Greek debt saga appears to be reaching such a crunch point.

London beats New York for finance, Boston for universities, and has the world’s most exciting arts scene. But it’s tech innovation that has the greatest potential to drive London’s future growth.
 
The drive to boost young peoples’ coding credentials has gathered steam alongside a marked increase in business demand for these skill sets. 
 
Female health products are becoming recognised as a huge opportunity in the tech industry – you only have to look at the positive response to the release of Apple's reproductive apps to realise this. 
 

Sixty years ago, Sir Antony Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), realising an idea given to him by the economist Friedrich Hayek seven years earlier.

Potential output may not be sexy, but it is critical to an economy’s future performance. A supply-side concept, it is defined as the level of output consistent with stable inflation.

George Osborne promised last week to legally bind future governments into lowering debt. Thanks to one of his own policies, that debt ambition will be much harder to meet unless reforms are undertaken today.