The US Department of Justice's lawsuit against Standard and Poor's is misguided, says our legal writer Lawsmith. It was the market's confidence in the ratings agencies that was at fault, not the agencies themselves.Read more...
Why Help to Buy will stoke a housing bubble by boosting demand without doing anything for supply, and risk taxpayer money in the process.
The welfare debate has roused emotions on both the left and right, and has led to some outlandish claims. Myth needs to be separated from reality. Geoffrey Taunton-Collins gives his take on what we should and shouldn’t believe.Read more...
The American bank robber, Willie Sutton, was asked why he persisted in robbing banks.
"That's where the money is," was his rather puzzled reply.
And why do our museums spend so much time dogging the heels of
politicians? Because in their world, government is where the money is.
After all, if you can't charge people to come in, then visitors become
no more than a necessary nuisance, wearing out the carpets and
fingering the exhibits.
UK Capital taxes are the world's most complex, putting us at a disadvantage against EC partners. On UK and US figures, the author shows that the revenue-maximizing level for CGT is only 15% and argues for a cut to below 10%.
Nigel Hawkins identifies £40bn of assets that the state could sell off to cut taxes or pay down the debt, including government-owned real estate, parts of state-owned companies like National Rail, and utilities that the government should not be running in the first place.
What would Britain be like if Dr Eamonn Butler was Chancellor? In this piece, we are given a taste of what would be in store if this did happen. Rather than a full time job, he has limited himself to one day as Chancellor and explains how he would go about changing Britain for the better.
This detailed report from the institutes trafficflow project team explores the equipment and policy requirements to make congestion charging work in major cities. How much does congestion cost? Why must a charging scheme be electronic rather than paper based? How can the technology be made affordable? How much importance should be given to simplicity, flexibility, public opinion, privacy and bolt on services that make life better for road users?
In this briefing paper, Karthik Reddy argues that the British constitutional arrangement has changed such that traditional checks and balances against governmental abuses of power have been lost, and says that a codified constitution is needed which clearly articulates the limits to parliamentary sovereignty. Reddy argues that the Prime Minister's presidential powers must be recognised and responded to by separating the executive from the legislature and making the office of Prime Minister directly electable by the British people, with parliament acting as an independent legislative balance against the executive.
State-run prisons suffer from the familiar problems of other public-sector institutions that face no competition: inadequate supply, poor quality and high cost. All too often, prisons are schools for crime. Many of them suffer from serious problems associated with over-crowding, poor sanitation, violence, drugs and sexual assault. Prison warders have become a powerful vested interest, exerting undue influence over prison policy.