THE RECENT suggestion by the chief medical officer Sally Davies that “we may need to introduce a sugar tax” is a tribute to the extraordinary media profile of Action on Sugar, the latest pressure group to blame a single ingredient for people being
AN UNLIKELY source holds the key to how the West should respond to Russia’s takeover of the Crimea. While researching for my book Ethical Realism (which I co-wrote with the rightly celebrated Anatol Lieven), I came across a startling fact.
FOLLOWING the devastating financial crisis of 2008, it’s easy to understand why there was a severe drop in business investment. From peak to trough, this vital part of economic life plummeted some 30 per cent.
REGULATORS can punish wrongdoing, but they find it much harder to legislate for what constitutes good behaviour. If they try to do so, they are likely to end up with massive rule books – and fail to meet their objectives.
WE SHOULD expect to hear much more about the future of the BBC in the next few months. Its Royal Charter is due for renewal in 2016, and there have already been murmurings about the sustainability of the licence fee model.
IN RESPONSE to Russian forces entering the Crimea, the interim Ukrainian government called for UK and US intervention, invoking the undertakings we (and the French, and latterly Nato) gave to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
AS ITS currency collapses, protests flare up in Crimea, and Russia flexes its muscles on the doorstep, those in the West claiming triumph in Ukraine should remember the story of King Pyrrhus of Epirus.
IF WE could build and heat homes with the hot air generated by the UK’s housing crisis debate, we would solve both issues in one go. Eighteen months ago, the issue was the availability of mortgage finance.
RADICAL reform of income tax is not only desirable, but completely possible. To achieve it, however, proponents of change need to provide a strong evidence base for a much flatter tax system, with a much lower top rate in the UK in particular.
CAST your mind back to 1978. The mighty Boney M had two number one hits, I was sheepishly starting big school in Cambridge, and Britain had a household savings rate of 12 per cent – more than double the current level.
MOST of the commentary on the UK’s economic recovery focuses on consumers. Are they taking on too much debt again to finance their spending? Is there a bubble in house prices, as people get more excited about bricks and mortar?
IF WESTERN economies have lost considerable ground to emerging powers over the last two decades, it is not simply because we lack the cheap labour of China and India or the natural resources of Russia and Brazil.
GEORGE Osborne signalled last week that he plans to encourage more trade and investment in next month’s Budget announcement. The chancellor rightly pointed out that this was critical to securing a sustainable recovery across the UK.
IT MAY be a clean form of energy, but solar has become a dirty word in some circles. Given expensive subsidies and feed-in-tariffs, solar (like other renewables) has looked like yet another uncompetitive distraction.
THE LEGO renaissance is one of the great business stories of our time. A decade ago the Danish firm was on the brink of bankruptcy. It is all different now. Last autumn it overtook Hasbro to become the second-biggest toymaker in the world.
THERE is almost nothing more difficult for a political risk analyst than assessing the dynamics of a revolution, a situation in which long-held conventional wisdom can be upended in a matter of minutes.