For four decades British governments have placed priority on maintaining low inflation. Under Conservative governments this functioned as the central macroeconomic policy goal. A Labour government will come under strong pressure to maintain this priority, though it is frequently in conflict with other objectives such as economic growth and full employment.Read More
Free movement of labour and migration/immigration are hotly debated throughout Europe, especially in election campaigns. Some of these discussions and even political initiatives ignore important facts and arrive at unrealistic, unpractical or unfair conclusions.Read More
The UK has the longest and strongest tradition of research on the social determinants of health and health inequalities for any country, more government papers and reports, and more policy. Yet British governments have struggled to reduce inequalities in health.Read More
Direct and indirect public support (subsidies and tax relief) for business R&D in the UK is higher than most other OECD countries, excluding the US, Korea, Canada and France. Also, the UK support regime relies on both direct grants and indirect support via tax credits with equal measures.
Nevertheless, total R&D expenditure as percentage of GDP in the UK (1.7%) is relatively low compared to OECD countries (2.43%).Read More
As the National Audit Office confirmed in their last report on the British Overseas Territories, the UK has the backstop financial responsibility for ensuring that these quasi-autonomous and self-governing locations are financially solvent:
"The UK bears the ultimate risk of potential liabilities from its overseas territories.
It is important …. that the UK should reinforce its close working with Territories to manage risks in government finances, disaster and crisis management."
This has particular significance in the context of the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma.Read More
It is government policy, not market processes, which cause high drug prices. Patent monopolies have the negative effects that free market oriented economists typically ascribe to government interference in the market. Altering government policy would make drugs cheaper for the NHS and thus increase provision.Read More
The adequate provision of social care is a major issue facing the UK. A near crisis has been triggered by the failures of privatised provision, aggravated by the austerity inflicted upon the NHS.
However, it is not just a question of providing enough care but also about developing new and different forms of care.Read More
Two decades after the granting of independence to the Bank of England to determine its own monetary policy, the doctrine which formed the basis for this policy has been discredited by the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and its aftermath. This doctrine was the New Consensus on Monetary Policy, that monetary policy, principally varying the interest rate at which the central bank provides funds to the money market, can effectively regulate the rate of inflation and the business cycle.Read More
Tax is an effective tool available to any government to implement its social and economic policies. The current institution for collecting taxes, HM Revenue and Customs, does not allow effective use of the tax instrument.Read More
By June 2017 despite the austerity rhetoric of the subsequent coalition and Conservative governments the debt reached £1.75 trillion. Is this level a debt a problem requiring action by an incoming Labour government? Need the debt be reduced and is it a burden on current or future generations?Read More
This Policy Brief evaluates the proposal to establish a universal basic income as a solution to the problems of the modern welfare state or social protection system.Read More
Limited liability has now a become shield employed to protect value extraction and behaviour that is hollowing out the capacity of UK companies to absorb financial risk and this now presents a moral hazard to society.Read More