Ten things you need to know about the IFS Green Budget

2 February 2011 14:20

An exciting day for policy freaks and numbers geeks: the Institute for Fiscal Studies has released its latest Green Budget, an annual survey of the state of the public finances.… Continue reading


Osborne’s tax headache

1 February 2011 11:37

No doubt about it, George Osborne is being pulled in two directions ahead of the Budget. There are those, such as the Lib Dems, who would have him reduce taxes… Continue reading


What are Osborne’s options?

31 January 2011 13:14

One of the most eyecatching political reports of the weekend was squirrelled away on page 16 (£) of the Sunday Times. It’s worth clipping out for the scrapbook, even now.… Continue reading


The coalition feels the squeeze

31 January 2011 9:18

The Institute for Fiscal Studies are out prowling the airwaves again, and they bring happy and unhappy tidings for the coalition. On the happier side, at least presentationally speaking, is… Continue reading


Boris: George knows I’m right

28 January 2011 9:05

David Cameron and George Osborne must have hoped that their message from Davos today would be broadcast unimpeded. It is, after all, a blunt message, designed to smash through all… Continue reading


Sexism is a red-herring; it’s family that matters

24 January 2011 13:54

I’m afraid that women have been faking it, having us men on. You see they understand the offside rule and always have done. How could they not? It’s so simple… Continue reading


Breaking the curious silence on upcoming tax changes

16 January 2011 12:12

This week, Nick Clegg added his name to the fast-growing list of politicians addressing the critical question of living standards. His phrase of choice was ‘alarm clock Britain’, in effect… Continue reading


Cameron sells the coalition’s economic policy

9 January 2011 15:02

David Cameron was on Marr this morning (with yours truly doing the warm-up paper review), talking about the "tough and difficult year" ahead. Others have been through the interview for… Continue reading


Osborne and Johnson battle over the new tax divide

4 January 2011 9:14

Now here’s a thing: a radio appearance by Alan Johnson that actually clarified some details about Labour’s economic policy in the Miliband era. Sure, the shadow chancellor spent most of… Continue reading


Reality-Based Fiscal Conservatism

15 December 2010 18:02

Bully for George Osborne. His interview with James and Fraser contains heaps of good sense. Most especially when he defends his attitude towards tax: Asked if he regards Britain as… Continue reading


Keeping the financial sector in Britain

8 December 2010 17:24

The financial services industry in the UK is at a crucial juncture. Our new research report “Not with a Bang but a Whimper” – published tomorrow –  highlights the decline… Continue reading


Devolution 2.0: A Centre-Right Revival?

1 December 2010 14:47

On this, at least, there is consensus: devolution has proved a disappointment. How could it be otherwise when the Scottish parliament was granted power without responsibility? A parliament that may… Continue reading


Tax cuts: a Swedish recession remedy

29 November 2010 20:17

I travelled in from frozen Stockholm this morning. My colleague Mary Wakefield set out from County Durham. No prizes for guessing whose journey took more time due to snow. When… Continue reading


Going beyond the IDS reforms

12 November 2010 14:38

Iain Duncan Smith deserves credit for fully understanding the nature and scale of the welfare problem. But that’s the easy bit. Finding a solution with the right balance of carrot… Continue reading


How we got here – and where we’re going

20 October 2010 11:08

With the Spending Review less than two hours away, I thought CoffeeHousers might like to be armed with a few graphs that set the scene. What follows is by no… Continue reading


Alan Johnson’s economic gamble

18 October 2010 11:45

The most shameless line of Alan Johnson’s big speech came at the beginning. "Being in opposition does not mean pretending to be in government," he averred, "we will not be… Continue reading


Clegg sweetens the pill with a fairness premium

15 October 2010 9:07

Only five days to go until the spending review – and after weeks of emphasis on the cuts we’re about to see, the government has today unveiled a new spending… Continue reading


Osborne vs Upper-Class* Subsidy Junkies

4 October 2010 11:43

Fraser is quite right: it is absurd that higher-rate tax-payers are paid child benefit. Ben Brogan is also right to note – though of course he uses some pretty extreme… Continue reading


Cameron neglects to mention his tax cut for the middle classes

25 September 2010 11:57

David Cameron’s interview in the Telegraph this morning is striking for three reasons. First, despite the interview appearing on the day of the Labour leadership declaration, there’s no attempt to… Continue reading


Alexander’s arguments

19 September 2010 13:47

Danny Alexander’s announcement of a £900 million clampdown on tax avoidance, evasion and fraud is designed to reassure Lib Dems that the coalition’s policies are fair, that it isn’t balancing… Continue reading


Politician of the Year

3 September 2010 4:05

Andrew Stuttaford says Alexei Kudrin is Finance Minister of the year but, surely, that understates matters? Russia’s finance minister has told people to smoke and drink more, explaining that higher… Continue reading


Cameron devolves the tricky issue of alcohol pricing

12 August 2010 9:39

Politicians often get nervous around alcohol – and not just because, in these straitened times, a glass of champagne can broadcast the wrong image. No, the real concern is the… Continue reading


The FCO’s dubious Prevent grants

6 August 2010 14:06

A few weeks ago I wrote for Coffee House welcoming the Government’s decision to scrap Prevent grants administered by local authorities. In that article, I cautioned that scrapping something should… Continue reading


George Osborne must put spending cuts ahead of tax rises

22 June 2010 11:20

In 2009, Britain borrowed more, as a share of its national income, than any country that isn’t being bailed out by the IMF and the Eurozone (Greece) or already making… Continue reading


The two sides of the VAT question

21 June 2010 15:07

There are two main aspects to the VAT issue: one distasteful, the other less so.  The distasteful one is the issue of whether the government has a mandate for hiking… Continue reading