THE GOVERNMENT has just taken an important step in the reform of Britain’s welfare system.
TRUST the “Big Dog” to have Barack Obama’s number. Bill Clinton, one of the shrewdest political operators ever, is reported to have complained about the current occupant of the White House.
SPRING in Britain is in full flow as the May Day bank holiday fast approaches. And this year, the economic news matches the improving weather.
THOMAS Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century is setting the bestseller charts alight in a way that economics tomes usually cannot.
Build up and out
Transport capacity [Re: Just three reforms would transform UK recovery into sustainable boom, yesterday]
THE FINANCIAL crisis saw chief executives undertake risky actions that cost society billions. Examples included irresponsible subprime lending and over-expansion through excessive leverage.
IN EXCELLENT news for anyone concerned about London’s housing crisis, local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced that he is looking at how post-war estates can be more comprehensively redeveloped into “traditional streetscapes.” He got
WITH the Ukraine crisis intensifying and concerns growing over its impact on energy security, the government has responded this week with rather inconsistent messages: it announced more multi-billion subsidies for unreliable renewable energy proje
Licence to operate [Re: Cable is fighting yesterday’s battle, yesterday]
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.