Opinion

COMMENT

Energy market [Re: Blame the regulator, yesterday]
FOUR key things strike me about the 2014 Budget. First, George Osborne stuck to his plan.
WHEN you have no money, and you need to conserve cash for a rabbit out of the hat in the run up to the election, what do you do? The chancellor’s answer: focus the Budget on pension reform and Isas saving incentives.
THIS year may be “as good as it gets” for the growth of the British economy, according to the latest OBR forecasts released in yesterday’s Budget.
Baffling economics [Re: Economics baffles half the population, Monday]
OFGEM, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will shortly issue an assessment of how well competition in the markets for gas and electricity is serving the interests of households and small firms.
CONCERN about inequalities of income and wealth is now a fashionable topic, and featured strongly in the gathering of the world’s top brass at Davos earlier this year.
IT’S THAT time of the year when the chancellor confirms that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is set to rise once again, ensuring that passengers flying from London’s airports will pay the highest departure tax of any country in the world.
No clothes Cameron [Re: Cameron sets out his agenda for EU reform, yesterday]
TOMORROW’S Budget will make it all too clear that, to get Britain’s public finances into a healthier state, further tight control of spending will be necessary.
GETTING inside the thinking of Vladimir Putin is a daunting prospect at the best of times; and these aren’t the best of times. Yet doing so shows why a worst-case outcome just a few days ago suddenly seems entirely plausible.
WITH Budget day upon us tomorrow, we can expect to be told that we are almost half-way through the government’s planned fiscal consolidation. Politicians will talk about how they are eliminating the deficit and getting our debts under control.
AHEAD of the last Budget before the 2015 election, Britain’s political battle lines are being carved out. Voters will be tempted by alternative menus combining less debt, higher spending and lower taxes.
WE ALL want the next Google, Facebook or Twitter to come from London. The same is true for major success stories from other industries.
WHEN One Direction (1D) weighed in on the corporation tax debate, calling on their fans to pressure George Osborne into “cracking down on company tax avoidance”, it was the clearest indication yet that business tax has become a popular issue.
Splitting debts [Re: The big independence lie: Scotland could keep the pound, Wednesday]
IF I wanted to come home with a 60 inch plasma TV tomorrow, I might try to persuade Mrs Knox that it was an “investment”.
SEVENTEEN years ago this week, a stake-wielding schoolgirl redefined the possibilities of popular entertainment.
THE UK represents just 0.9 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for 3.2 per cent of its scientific expenditure, 4.1 per cent of its researchers, and 15.9 per cent of its most highly-cited articles.
Made in Britain [Re: British manufacturing’s long decline could be about to end, yesterday]
ED MILIBAND’S speech yesterday was a welcome intervention in the EU debate. But it didn’t go nearly far enough to address the deep-rooted concerns British businesses have with the EU.
BUSINESSES want two things from government: clarity about policy, and certainty about the business environment. This is particularly true on an issue as crucial to Britain’s economy as our place in the European Union.
THE NORDIC economic model, followed by Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, has long been divisive. The Left exalts it and the Right tries to forget about it. Unfortunately, the debate has long created more heat than light. It needn’t.
Venezuela chaos [Re: Venezuela’s mad socialist experiment is destroying a nation, yesterday]
TRUTH is usually the first casualty of political battles, as it is of war.
A GREAT event took place in Pushkin Square, Moscow on 31 January 1990: a branch of McDonald’s was opened. There was similar excitement in Kiev on 24 May 1997, when the McDonald’s franchise was extended to Ukraine.
THE DESTRUCTION of historical records by government bodies is a recurring motif of the unfree society. So the Bank of England’s hesitancy to publish transcripts from its meetings should be a serious cause for concern.
Tax reform [Re: Stop acquisitive politicians forever with a max tax guarantee, Thursday]
AT FIRST sight, Vladimir Putin’s assertion of Russia’s power and influence in Crimea has been a neat operation with low costs. Moscow’s aggression can even look like a nice little earner.
IN EIGHT days, George Osborne will deliver the penultimate Budget of this Parliament.
AT THE heart of the coalition’s education reforms is a move towards greater school autonomy to allow more innovation and, ultimately, better results. The idea has its critics.
ROBOTICS is now the fastest growing industry in the world, according to a recent report from Littler Mendelson, and could well become one of the largest within a matter of decades.
AS ONLY the second female lord mayor in 800 years, International Women’s Day on Saturday provided an important opportunity to reflect on how attitudes towards gender and diversity have changed over the 106 years since it was first held.
IF YOU think London’s housing crisis is bad, house prices are too high, or rents are extortionate, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
IT WAS the tweet heard round the web. The selfie Ellen DeGeneres took during the Oscars became an internet sensation. First, it garnered the most retweets ever: as I write, Twitter reports 3.3m users have recommended it in this way.
Punishing savers [Re: People too scared to save because they don’t trust politicians, yesterday]
HOW MANY times have we heard a politician say that “those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden”?
SHELL, Lloyds and Barclays have joined Standard Life and Sainsbury’s in warning about the consequences for their businesses of Scottish independence.
Investment risks [Re: Memo to the City and UK industry: 2014 is the year for business investment, yesterday]

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