Opinion

COMMENT

ED BALLS’S announcement that the 50 per cent top rate of income tax could make a comeback is an act of political opportunism devoid of any economic sense.
PEOPLE talk about emerging markets as if they were one homogenous group, but nothing could be further from the truth.
THE GDP figures released today, expected to show further evidence of economic growth, will tell us how far the recovery has progressed. They follow last week’s employment stats which showed that our long-term plan is beginning to work.
Labour tax plans [Re: The Labour party’s war on the better off is dreadful economics, yesterday]
TO PARAPHRASE Antony in Julius Caesar, I come to bury the Mints idea, not to praise it.
TO CREATE more and better-paid jobs, Britain needs more small businesses, and it needs the best of them to scale up. Government has a key role to play, by radically improving its own commercial relationship with small companies.
THE CITY has always been a crucible for debate, innovation and philanthropy.
IT’S BEEN called the riddle of peacefulness. Many think crime is a growing problem: a 2013 Ipsos Mori study found that 58 per cent didn’t believe it was falling, while 51 per cent thought violent crime was getting worse.
THE LACK of competition among Britain’s retail banks is under the microscope. Yet an important part of the solution is not getting enough attention.
WHAT does a decent pension cost? The short answer is a lot; and a lot more than most people think or want to know.
EU green targets [Re: Industry welcomes EU green targets for 2030, yesterday]
GROWTH is back. Unemployment is falling. Each week seems to bring a flurry of upgraded forecasts. The mood of the pundits has gone from gloom to boom.
THE BANK of England must give serious consideration to raising interest rates. This doesn’t mean it should hike rates immediately. But the conditions under which rates would rise need to be clarified urgently.
CONFIDENCE can be the difference between success and failure. For some time, there has been a large number of businesses that are too pessimistic about their chances of getting the finance they need from their bank to grow.
Pensions crisis [Re: Brits Told: Save Six Times More For Your Pension or Face Poverty, yesterday]
AT THE launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013, Vince Cable announced that “10 per cent of the UK workforce is engaged in entrepreneurship activity.” Then he ploughed on with his speech, leaving the audience wondering precisely what this was s
THE CONCEPT of the “output gap” is central to mainstream macroeconomics. It is not merely of academic interest, however.
I’VE LEARNED a new word: heterarchy. I came across it buried in this year’s Davos theme. Apparently it means multiple structures, overlapping, interacting, connecting and networking.
Banking IT crisis [Re: UK banks risk financial meltdown if the long-term IT crisis remains unresolved, yesterday]
A QUIET announcement, with potentially significant implications for London’s housing crisis, lay hidden in the detail of last year’s Autumn Statement: the government will “explore options for kick-starting the regeneration of some of the worst hou
WITH GDP still 2 per cent below its pre-crisis peak and consumer price index inflation falling back to its 2 per cent target, many argue that Britain should stick with extraordinarily loose monetary policy for longer.
YESTERDAY saw the government announce the latest in a line of restrictions on the benefits immigrants can claim.
EU reform [Re: EU reform is possible – and it can safeguard the position of the City of London, yesterday]
ED MILIBAND appears to be in the process of reinventing the Labour Party as the consumer party. His central theme is the “cost of living crisis”.
GEORGE Osborne has made it his New Year’s resolution to reform the European Union to reverse the continent’s economic decline.
FOR THOSE who say reform of surveillance law isn’t needed, Barack Obama’s speech on Friday, in which he outlined plans to reshape the National Security Agency’s (NSA) electronic spying practices, should have come as a wake-up call.
ON THE busiest online shopping day of 2013, Cyber Monday, RBS faced an embarrassing IT system outage that left more than 1m customers unable to access their accounts for three hours. This wasn’t the first time.
FREEDOM isn’t just a rallying call, it is a practical way to transform the world for the better. Letting people make their own choices scorns the arrogance of narrow elites, preferring instead the riches found in every individual’s contribution.
Although I now live in China, I worked in France for 26 years, and have a lot of affection for the country and its people. Like Allister Heath, I feel sad to see the country going down the drain because it cannot rid itself of socialist dogma.
GEORGE Orwell would have had the EU’s number.
FOR ALL the talk of competition in banking, ask yourself: have you ever felt that there is not a product for you on the market? Or that your choices are constrained?
POLAND was the only EU country to avoid a recession during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Polish GDP is now 36 per cent higher than it was in 2005.
Market share cap [Re: Miliband mulls cap on market share of banks, yesterday]
THIS Friday, Barack Obama will decide what he intends to do about the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) covert surveillance activities on the phone and internet records of the American people.
PRESIDENT Francois Hollande would like us to think that France is about to bounce back.
ED MILIBAND is getting serious about shedding his Red Ed image. In an article in the Daily Telegraph, the Labour leader tried to rebrand himself as a champion of the aspirational middle classes. This shouldn’t be ignored.
Scottish debt [Re: Has the Treasury hurt the Union by backing UK debt until Scotland’s vote? Yesterday]
FOR MOST of the past century, UK economic growth has depended primarily on consumer spending and housing. Indeed, the current recovery is heavily driven by these two factors – even though the shape of this revival is gradually changing.
POLITICIANS of all parties, including Treasury minister Sajid Javid, have stated that there’s a strong case for a significant increase in the minimum wage.

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