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28

Apr

Looking under the bonnet: is the UK economic engine firing on all cylinders?

On the face of it the economy looks to be into a good recovery phase – growth at its highest since 2006, record employment levels and the public sector deficit under half what it w…

  • Category: Economic Policy

12

Dec

Does Ofwat’s five year settlement for the water industry mean bills are going down in real terms – or up?

The headline on today’s announcement from the water industry regulator Ofwat that water bills in England and Wales will fall by 5% in real terms between 2015 and 2020 looks l…

  • Category: Services

04

Dec

Growth, not the deficit, is what really matters

The Autumn Statement performances today shows our political leaders on both sides should stop fixating reducing the deficit to zero. Today’s Autumn Statement perfo…

  • Category: Economic Policy

31

Jul

Corporate governance: the economic damage done by the bonus culture gives a focus for reform

The Bank of England wants to take bonuses back off misbehaving bankers; corporate governance reform could mean abolishing bonuses altogether. The TUC’s multi-autho…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

29

Jul

All our yesterdays: reliving the glory days of the Lawson boom

If last year was the second worst for the UK’s balance of payments deficit since WW2, why doesn’t the Deputy Governor tell us when the worst was? In the bad old days, before Mrs T…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

14

Jul

Corporate governance: what it is about and why it matters

The people at the very top of our large corporations: what guides the decisions they take and does it matter? The TUC’s new pamphlet on “corporate governance” is made up of contri…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

02

Jun

NEET economic inactivity rate lowest on record

Not only has there been a fall in young adult NEETS, the inactivity rate is at its lowest on record Official figures released by the ONS last month show that there are now just u…

  • Author: Sabrina Bushe
  • Category: Children and Young Adults

18

Mar

What would a good economic recovery look like – and is this one?

The employers’ organisation, the CBI, certainly thinks that the economy recovery which started some twelve months is a good one. In a press release put out last month, its Director…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

05

Dec

The Treasury's inflation stealth tax

How inflation is measured ought to be something that can safely be left to economists while the rest of us go down the pub. Sad to say, some of the detail behind the Autumn Stateme…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

04

Dec

Memories of the Major administration: what growth looks like and why it is not enough

What does a period of sustained economic growth look like? Twenty years ago, the UK was in the early stages of a recovery that went on to become the best eight years for the UK eco…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

28

Nov

Autumn Statement: is the government really in control?

George Osborne will certainly find next week’s Autumn Statement an easier ride than in 2011 or 2012. In the past two years, the opposition charge that his austerity had caused grow…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

13

Nov

Is Ofwat taking a tougher approach?

Thames Water’s request for a £29 increase in household bills to cover costs not included in the last price review has been rejected by the industry regulator Ofwat. The…

  • Author: Adam Tinson
  • Category: Services

13

Sep

Lehman, five years on

Five years ago on Sunday, the American investment bank, Lehman Brothers, was declared bankrupt. Here we take a quick look at some of the economic and social changes since 2008, Fi…

  • Author: Tom MacInnes
  • Category: Economic Policy

14

Aug

If the public pays for the super sewer it should own it too

Thames Water’s proposal to levy a £30 surcharge on its 14 million customers to help pay for the super sewer is an opportunity that no populist politician worth their salt would mis…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Services

17

Apr

Unemployment up, inactivity down

The big headline from the most recent labour market statistics was a rise in unemployment. At the same time, though, levels of inactivity have fallen to their lowest since the 1990…

  • Author: Tom MacInnes
  • Category: Work and Pay

09

Apr

The lessons of 'Black April'

Over the last week, the NPI blog has been examining the merits of this April’s package of benefit reforms without relying on the fact that their adverse impacts are usually restric…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

28

Mar

The public sector deficit through the looking glass

Reducing the public sector deficit has been the Coalition's number one economic goal from the start. Inheriting a record deficit in 2009/10 – Labour’s last year –…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

20

Mar

Osborne's budget challenge and the spirit of 97

George Osborne’s problem is how to rid himself of the spirit of ’97. Seeing as this year ranks second only to 1945 in the roll-call of Labour triumphs and Tory disasters, this may …

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Economic Policy

06

Feb

Troubled waters: Living standards and water bills

Ofwat announced yesterday that, from April, water and sewerage bills will be increasing by an average of 3.5%, or up by £13 to £388 annually (this of course masks significant varia…

  • Author: Adam Tinson
  • Category: Services