Month: November 2012

The reopening of the economic mind?

Where is the revolutionary thinking in economics? That was one of the first questions posed by a speaker at the Festival of Economics held last weekend in a very damp Bristol. It is also one of the most pressing and the most intriguing. I was among the hardy […]

Housing at half-time

There isn’t a great deal of disagreement about the key problems facing the British housing market. The main issues are high housing costs in both the owner occupied and private rented sectors, with correspondingly high bills for housing allowances. Many households have difficulties in accessing appropriate accommodation, particularly […]

Camerflaged attack

David Cameron’s speech to the CBI today started with a paean to the exporters of UK plc; the manufacturers of strong liquor and powerful weaponry that do us so proud internationally. His objective – apart from flattering various members of the audience – was to make the case […]

Economists in reflective mood

Next weekend Bristol will host the Festival of Economics, organised under the auspices of the Festival of Ideas. The programme for the Festival of Economics has been assembled by Diane Coyle of Enlightenment Economics. It brings together economic journalists, applied academic economists, and economists in the think tank […]

Policy challenges around welfare reform

[This is the text to accompany my presentation to open the South West Observatory seminar “Welfare reform: challenges, impacts and evidence”, 13/11/12] Where to start? Politicians are prone to hyperbole. The most minor modification to a relatively peripheral policy is portrayed as a groundbreaking initiative. However, in the […]

Housing – winding the clock back

[Originally posted at Liberal Democrat Voice, 12/11/12] Friday 9th November 2012 could well come to be seen as a landmark date in the history of English housing policy. A key change introduced by the Localism Act 2011 came into effect. The Liberal Democrats are part of the Government […]