From the TUC

Economics (page 171)

Making good use of windfall profits

05 Sep 2008, by in Economics

Back in the Spring, the TUC’s Budget submission called for a windfall tax on energy companies. According to Ofgem, the energy regulator, the electricity industry will benefit from a windfall profit of around £9 billion from the free allocation of their emission permits from 2008 to 2012. A tidy profit with permits worth 24 euros…




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Useless tax policy #1 and #2

02 Sep 2008, by in Economics, Society & Welfare

The Conservative Party are heading for a hat trick of tax policies that completely miss the point. At the end of last week, George Osborne wrote to the Chancellor declaring that he would cut corporation tax from 28% to 25% to stop companies leaving the UK.  However, as the tax expert and obsessive blogger Richard…




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Job insecurity is a problem

01 Sep 2008, by in Economics, Labour market

Stumbling and Mumbling is an economics blog that is always worth reading. Even when you disagree, it makes you check your own position. But his take on the TUC’s job security poll is a bit off the mark. He says “this survey is no evidence whatsoever of an impending economic downturn” But that is not what…




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So far, so good…

29 Aug 2008, by in Economics

Some years ago, a man fell off the top of the Empire State Building. Eyewitnesses in offices on the way down said he had a strangely complacent smile on his face; as he hurtled past, some heard his last words: “So far, so good, so far, so good, so far…” Employment statistics are notoriously a…




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The Spectator on tax (yawn!)

29 Aug 2008, by in Economics

This is what makes the current political situation so frustrating.  Reading this week’s editorial in The Spectator, it is clear that the right haven’t got anything coherent or of any interest to say on the economy. The genius who wrote this rejects calls for fairer taxes to revive the public finances.  The alternative: cut government waste…




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Give Blanchflower a gong

29 Aug 2008, by in Economics

Extraordinary intervention by David Blanchflower.  I’ve been thinking what to say about his comments but he pretty much says it all. Blanchflower is often described as an inflation “dove” by reporters suggesting that he thinks growth is more important than rising prices.  He rejects that arguing that the Bank’s remit is to prevent inflation falling below the 2% target…




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Scratched record on tax keeps playing

28 Aug 2008, by in Economics

Here we go again.  Struggling investment fund Hendersons Group is moving its HQ to Ireland to escape the barbaric way we tax businesses in the UK.  That just adds to the vast flow of firms that the City and the CBI repeatedly tell us will quit.  Er, in fact, just three this year.  Maybe they’ll all…




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Spinning the pay data

28 Aug 2008, by in Economics, Labour market

The broadcast media this morning are spinning the pay figures from Income Data Services as a sign that inflation is now driving up wages.  They’ve even found some ill-informed and/or self-interested pundits to claim this is the case.  As I posted yesterday, the figures don’t show this at all.  There’s a very balanced report on…




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Still waiting for the wage-price spiral!

27 Aug 2008, by in Economics, Labour market

The latest figures from Income Data Services show that pay settlements between April and July represented a 3.5% rise in salaries. Hardly inflation busting. The figures also show how diverse and responsive the UK’s pay bargaining process now is, with some sectors, such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals settling at around 4.5% while retail and the not-for-profit sectors are sticking…




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