The Spending Review: Short-termism, Ideology and Economic Illiteracy

On Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne presented his long-awaited Autumn Statement and Spending Review. The Spending Review sets departmental spending limits for the next four years and was combined with the annual Autumn Statement, which lays out government taxation and deficit reduction plans for the coming year. They have engendered much protest as they continue the austerity policy that the Tories have vehemently pursued since 2010. Continue reading “The Spending Review: Short-termism, Ideology and Economic Illiteracy”

The National Living Wage: a viable way to reduce Britain’s crippling inequality?

On Friday 6th November, it was revealed that fifteen companies out of a total of twenty-one that sit on the CBI’s presidential committee, including British Airways and BP, do not pay all of their employees the national living wage. These findings were the result of research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation, which itself defines the national living wage as £8.25 an hour, although it is set to be introduced by the government in April 2016 at a lower rate of £7.20. With many of Britain’s top businesses not paying the living wage and it set to reach £9 an hour by 2020, it is questionable whether the living wage is a viable policy and, in particular, whether it would be successful in cutting the highly unequal distribution of income within the country. Continue reading “The National Living Wage: a viable way to reduce Britain’s crippling inequality?”

A European Dilemma. Austerity or Democracy for Greece?

A few months ago this author wrote that enforced austerity in Greece was undermining democracy. That, even if loans were repaid and debts exacted, the political cost of pushing people towards anti-European and anti-democratic radicals, would be so much greater in the long run for the future of Europe that no monetary sum was worth the risk. Instead, it argued, Europe should give Greece the economic space it needs to grow. In the heat of this latest crisis, it is necessary to examine first whether this prophecy has come true, that of greater radicalisation, and also whether the prescribed medicine is still the correct one. Continue reading “A European Dilemma. Austerity or Democracy for Greece?”