Tag: Public economics

The middle classes, mansions and Mr Pickles

Last Friday’s Telegraph published a couple of brief pieces drawing on a wide ranging interview with Eric Pickles. The Communities Secretary had a few characteristically pithy observations to make in relation to the ongoing debate over the future of the 50p tax rate and the alternative mooted by […]

On bankruptcy constraints, soft and hard

One strand of the economic critique of government provision is that public providers face a soft bankruptcy constraint. If they operate inefficiently or extravagantly and run out of money then they can turn to government for a handout to cover any shortfall. If the government is short of […]

Economic liberalism and public service reform

[Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice, 22/02/11, and ranked most read post of the week] Are the Liberal Democrats a party of untrammelled ideology – sorry,“principles” – or do ethics and evidence also play a role in thinking? This question struck me forcefully when reading David Cameron’s article […]

Who’s wrong? The Government or the Economists?

Where should we draw the boundaries of the state? When should Government take responsibility for providing or funding services? And when should it be left to the market to sort out? One characteristic of the current government is that it has destabilised well-established understandings of where the boundaries […]