INDIA, the world’s largest democracy, is currently holding the world’s longest general election.
IN AN era of squeezed budgets and public services under pressure, the police service continues to defy expectations. Yesterday had more good news, with data from A&E departments indicating a dramatic reduction in violent crime.
EUROPEAN leaders were quick to say Russia’s annexation of Crimea was “unacceptable”, but mostly accepted it. Others say they know Russia is behind the violence in eastern Ukraine, but still do nothing. Talk is cheap.
Labour’s spending [Re: The cost of living crisis isn’t over – but Ed Miliband still won’t solve it, yesterday]
WHISPER it, but things finally seem to be looking up. Investment is rising, unemployment is falling, and the deficit seems to be coming under control. But it could be a lot better. Real wages will not recover to their pre-crisis peak until 2020.
CONSUMER prices in Sweden fell by 0.4 per cent in the year to March 2014, according to Eurostat figures. Over the same period, inflation was negative in a further seven European countries, including Greece, Portugal and Spain.
THE COALITION is considering plans to loosen the rules governing the development of new infrastructure, fracking sites, and potentially housing, to facilitate investment. The specifics are not yet clear, but they seem to be on the right track.
WHATEVER the final outcome of the violently simmering crisis in Ukraine, and however likely it is that that embattled state will remain caught in Russia’s crushing embrace, the greatest global political risk can’t be found in Kiev, eastern Ukraine
PAY GROWTH at 1.7 per cent, inflation at 1.6 per cent on the consumer price index (CPI), real wages increasing. One commentator stated this was the coalition’s “mission accomplished” moment.
THE FIRST few months of 2014 have been a whirlwind for London’s tech sector.
Bank productivity [Re: The British productivity disease: How to cure it, Thursday]
Pensions tax [Re: How Britain can rebuild welfare with the power of individual contributions, yesterday]
THIS week has brought more bright economic news – with falling inflation and unemployment paving the way for rising real wages.
WHEN energy consumers open the next bill, letter or email from their supplier, they should notice some major changes. On every energy bill, they will now receive personalised information about the cheapest tariff their supplier can offer.
THE SIMMERING crisis in Ukraine has just been brought to a boil again.
Mansion tax-lite [Re: Why the Lib Dems’ new mansion tax-lite is just as ugly, yesterday]
THE TWO great legacies of post-war socialism were the NHS and the Beveridge system of welfare.
ECONOMICS provides us with a really big insight into how the world works: people respond to changes in incentives. A great deal of public policy is based on this principle. Want fewer people to drive into Central London?
Jobs miracle [Re: The recovery is being driven by a revolution in the jobs market, yesterday]
THERE is little doubt that Ukraine stands perilously on the edge of disaster, if not full invasion, as Russian troops assemble on its borders and pro-Russian activists violently demonstrate in key eastern cities.
WITH the “stimulus” versus “austerity” debate having receded, George Osborne likes to talk instead about his “long-term economic plan”. This has been dominated by a commitment to deficit reduction and a strong jobs market.
SOME Liberal Democrats seem to have finally conceded that their “mansion tax” pet project is a bad idea.
AFTER seven years at the top, last month London lost its place as the number one city in the Global Financial Centres Index. Is this a temporary slippage, or should we be concerned?
THE TURNOVER of Italian governments has been a regular feature of the European political structure for many years. Matteo Renzi’s recent elevation into the Prime Minister’s position has therefore been regarded in some quarters with ennui.
IF YOU’VE ever wondered why the airport capacity debate has become so problematic, two contributions last week, each exemplifying one of the camps by which it is dominated, show why.
Let the people vote
Thatcher’s children [Re: Why Sajid Javid could soon become the Tories’ great hope, yesterday]
THERE is a scene in The Italian Job in which the gang is testing how to gain access to the contents of a security van.
A CULTURE secretary from the Treasury – it is what John Maynard Keynes, the founder of the Arts Council, would have wanted.
WEAK and ineffectual boards are a risk to the health of their companies and to the whole UK economy.
Housebuilding [Re: How London can smash through the brick ceiling limiting housing supply, yesterday]
THE PICK-UP in UK economic growth, which started last year, has continued into 2014 and appears to have gathered further momentum.
THE GOVERNMENT is relaxed about people cashing in their pension schemes to buy a Lamborghini. But the left-leaning liberal commentariat is certainly not.
MARIA Miller’s claims on taxpayers’ cash towards her second home between 2005 and 2009 have been scrutinised in a variety of quarters.
OVER four days, 300 people queued in a field by Heathrow to buy a home. It was 1964, and for £50 people could fulfil their homeowning dream in the soon-to-be-built suburb of Sunbury-on-Thames. The first 187 people did.
Student migrants [Re: It’s a national scandal that Britain is driving away foreign talent, yesterday]
IT WOULD be easy to think that the debate about Britain’s membership of the EU has been done to death.
HOW CAN Britain prepare to compete with fast-growing emerging economies? Jeremy Browne thinks he has the answer. Race Plan, released yesterday, is refreshingly radical for a book written by a former Lib Dem minister.
WALK into China’s state planning agency in Beijing and you can pick up a 40-page guide to potential investment opportunities in the UK.
Stamp duty reform [Re: Why it’s time to focus on the real cost of the housing crisis, yesterday]