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Air Passenger Duty Cuts


Air passenger duty is a tax paid by airlines which is typically passed onto their customers within ticket costs. It is banded on the distance from London to countries’ capital cities, with a reduced rate for economy class passengers. At Budget 2014, the Government announced a significant reform to air passenger duty to bring the cost of long-haul travel down to a uniform duty rate. From 1 April 2015 any country over 2,000 miles from London will fall into the […]

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Help to Work Scheme Launches


The Help to Work scheme – a new intensive support scheme to get the long-term unemployed into work – launched last week. A key part of the Government’s long-term economic plan is to deliver the highest levels of employment, making sure that everyone who can work is given the support and opportunity to do so.  The Help to Work Scheme will give Job Centre staff a new range of options to support the hardest to help people and provide more support […]

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Bootleggers and Baptists – explaining the characteristics of government regulation


Because I am today a member of a small Baptist church, I feel I can get away with posting this great video which is a little unkind about us. There may be some people at my church who don’t drink but I’m not aware of anyone having a theological objection to alcohol sales on a Sunday and lobbying for a ban. I guess the author of the video has other experiences. The video explains why government regulation tends to have […]

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Draft Deregulation Bill to save millions each year


The Government recently published its draft Deregulation Bill to remove unnecessary bureaucracy. It will amend 182 different pieces of legislation and should make savings for public bodies, businesses and individuals worth a minimum of £62 million per year. This is paltry compared to the £4 billion budget of relevant regulators, but I suppose it is better than progress in the other direction. The Bill will: Free business from red tape, including by: Scrapping health & safety rules for self-employed workers in low […]

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Our ballooning national debt – is City AM the only paper worth reading?


This morning in City A.M., Editor Allister Heath writes once again about the lamentable failure of the political and media class properly to inform the public debate on our country’s finances. Referring to a poll asking whether the Coalition is cutting the national debt, keeping it the same or increasing it: These same questions were first asked at the beginning of the year by ComRes, last time on behalf of the Centre for Policy Studies. Depressingly, the public’s economic literacy […]

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The Government vs the State


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ConservativeHome reports that the Government (the ministers) are scaling up their battle against the civil service: Outside of Manchester, the most significant political speech of the day is being delivered by Francis Maude to the Institute for Government. Indeed, it could actually be more significant than “the most personal speech ever given by a British political leader,” too. For Mr Maude’s subject is the structural relationship between government and the civil service, and how it should be altered. His words will […]

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Contemporary crony capitalism – Living with Leviathan


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For a contemporary and historical account of the scale of the state and its relations with nominally private business, I recommend David B. Smith’s excellent Living with Leviathan: Public Spending, Taxes and Economic Performance: In the last 90 years the proportion of national income spent by the UK government has increased from around 10 per cent to nearly 50 per cent. This general trend has been followed in most other developed countries, although levels of government spending are much higher in […]

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Who Exploits You More: Capitalists or Cronies?


Via Learn Liberty, Who Exploits You More: Capitalists or Cronies? See also this short book on how political decisions come to be made: Public Choice – a Primer by Dr Eamonn Butler. Or watch Yes, Minister.

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Can government spending activities have a positive impact on economic activity?


Can government spending activities have a positive impact on economic activity? Do federal spending programs designed to offset a recession’s negative effects add a boost to GDP growth? Can government purposefully and successfully take steps that will increase employment? In essence, do government stimulus programs really work? With various political parties advocating further economic boomerangs, find out here: The U.S. Experience With Fiscal Stimulus | Mercatus. The key conclusions are on the last page. After describing three hurdles to stimulus spending as an […]

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A massive failure of journalism is being corrected


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Via It’s austerity all right – but not of the kind we actually need, City A.M.’s Allister Heath makes his case: It has long been a theme of this column that the government and its critics alike have exaggerated the extent of the government’s belt-tightening. The coalition is doing this to try and reassure the bond markets while seeking to minimise the hit to the public sector; the opposition because it wants to blame the recession on “the cuts.” But […]

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