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Category: Economy

  • March 14, 2015

    No glittering giveaways. No electoral sweeteners. Why we need a deeply unexciting Budget

    The Greek debt crisis of spring 2010, and the austerity agenda that it heralded, brought tear gas and smoke bombs to the streets of Athens. But it also ignited an otherwise colourless General Election campaign being fought two thousand miles away in the UK. Seemingly overnight, the storm in Athens provided the context for a […]
  • February 20, 2015

    Superfast broadband coverage in central London

    The release last week of the seat by seat breakdown of superfast broadband connectivity underlined the extent of the problem we face in central London. With a coverage level of just 31% my constituency has by far the lowest superfast broadband connectivity in the whole of the UK. It will come as a surprise to many […]
  • February 16, 2015

    Could a review of council tax be the antidote to Labour’s mansion tax?

    As the New Year dawned, Jim Murphy triumphantly announced that Labour would ‘tax houses in London and the South-East to pay for 1000 new nurses in the Scottish NHS’. The coupling of Labour’s mansion tax policy to its battle-to-the-death north of the border with the SNP was doubtless deliberate. The Scottish Labour leader knows only […]
  • December 4, 2014

    Stamp duty overhauled in the Autumn Statement

    Yesterday Chancellor George Osborne stayed true to Autumn Statement tradition by pulling a rabbit out of his Red Box. A much-needed overhaul of the antiquated stamp duty system has been implemented in double-quick time, banishing in a sweep the duty’s perverse slab element that saw properties taxed at set rates on their entire value once […]
  • December 1, 2014

    Some strategic thoughts for the Autumn Statement and beyond

    One of the great paradoxes of this strangest of political times is that sustained growth and clear signs of domestic recovery have made the economy a less salient issue to voters. It is almost as if these upward trends are now being taken for granted by voters unaware of the hardship and challenges that continue […]
  • October 16, 2014

    The crackdown on no win, no fee risks handing a victory to dodgy directors

    Mark had the following article published in this morning’s City AM: ONE OF the hazards of policymaking is that many of the best-laid plans can have curiously unintended consequences. In implementing policy, meanwhile, government can often find its left hand undermined by its right. So it has been with the Ministry of Justice’s laudable bid […]
  • October 9, 2014

    Arbitrarily criminalising banking is a reckless way to reform British finance

    Mark had the following article published in this morning’s City AM: THE RADICAL plan to prosecute bank bosses for reckless misconduct in the management of a bank is ringing alarm bells across the City, with a slew of top bankers now threatening to join the duo from HSBC in quitting the industry in protest. The […]
  • October 2, 2014

    The limitations of raising tax thresholds

    Taking the lowest paid out of income tax entirely was a policy brought uniquely to the table by the Liberal Democrats in 2010…or so the junior coalitionists would have the British public believe. The truth is a little more nuanced. My own constituency election address as far back as 2005 asserted an aspiration that no […]
  • September 24, 2014

    Miliband’s Mansion Tax is not the Answer

    How seductive it sounds. A tax on the great mansions of the rich to pay for more doctors and nurses in the NHS to the benefit of all. Labour leader, Ed Miliband, clearly believes he is onto a vote-winner with his so-called ‘mansion tax’ policy, confirmed in his party conference speech yesterday. Quite aside from the […]
  • September 14, 2014

    It’s growth and recovery all right. But how sustainable is it?

    George Osborne will hope to continue a welcome habit of confounding his critics. Steady progress at deficit reduction and austerity measures in parts of the public sector have not prevented a return to economic growth. Unsurprisingly, Labour have been forced to shift their line of attack to the continuing squeeze on living standards as inflation […]