JP Floru

The BBC and the licence fee will be tackled when hell freezes over

Written by | Thursday 12 September 2013

In the light of the recent pay-off scandals at the BBC, one would expect there to be demands for the abolition of the licence fee and the excessive protection the BBC enjoys.  There have been some mutterings, but nothing serious.  Nor is it likely to.  Why is this?

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Our long-nailed mandarins are granting privileges to bakers and caravanners

Written by | Tuesday 29 May 2012

A year ago I attended a seminar on space travel. Some of the libertarians there couldn’t wait to leave socialist earth. Sadly, while space travel is still in its infancy, some of us will have to do with a caravan. Is the government’s volte-face on VAT on caravans good news or bad news? Static caravans will only be taxed at 5% instead of 20%. And the pasty tax has been abandoned altogether. Should we rejoice? Or not?

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Cash for no access

Written by | Monday 26 March 2012

As long as government rules vast parts of our lives and our businesses, with nannying and interfering and market distorting measures left, right, and centre, some will try to pull the duvet towards them, leaving others out in the cold. This weekend's cash for access story is just another in a long line of similar cases.

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The Coalition’s new home loan scheme: just a carrot for floating voters?

Written by | Monday 12 March 2012

Taxpayers will guarantee deposits for new houses up to £500,000 under the government's New Buy Guarantee scheme. Many buyers find it difficult to raise 20% (or more) deposits and this scheme will allow them to buy houses with as little as 5% deposit.

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Selling the Rule of Law for £500m

Written by | Tuesday 28 February 2012

On Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke defended the introduction of retrospective tax law to make Barclays pay tax which it had avoided legally. “When we see something like this, behaviour which is unacceptable, we are willing to step in”, he said. There are always reasons to ditch rules which aren’t very convenient.  But such reasons are rarely good enough.  And certainly not when it is to scrape away the glue which keeps the law together: the Rule of Law.

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Ireland and the law of unintended domino effects

Written by | Wednesday 25 January 2012

Ireland bailed out its banks to stop the much vaunted but never explained domino effect of banks going down.  As a result its debt went up, and its AAA credit rating went down.  Most investment funds are required to be established in AAA countries. So, it is said, Ireland’s financial industry is increasingly moving abroad to places like Luxembourg.

How’s that for a domino effect?

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What Queen Elizabeth I's silk stockings tell us about inequality

Written by | Thursday 19 January 2012

Inequality drives civilisation.  Unequal distribution of income indicates which behaviour needs to be copied to prosper, and which doesn’t.  If you stay in bed you earn nothing; if you get on your bike to work you do: the unequal income incentivises behaviour which will create growth and prosperity from which ultimately the whole of society benefits. 

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The ASI's best of 2011: JP Floru

Written by | Thursday 29 December 2011

JP Floru, Director of Programmes:

As a contrarian I’m reluctant to prove that I am human after all - what’s wrong with being a Martian?  But our Sam has asked us to do this – so here we go.

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It’s official: the BoE’s money printing achieved almost nothing

Written by | Tuesday 13 December 2011

By taking away from one side of the economy to stimulate another, Keynesian economics is smoke and mirrors at the best of times.  But now it transpires that our own most recent example, Quantitative Easing, was more akin to a volcanic ash cloud and a one hundred mile-long mirage.

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Regional Fund: Coalition's job plan destroys jobs

Written by | Tuesday 1 November 2011

treeBy handing out cheques to selected companies, the Coalition expects to create or protect 201,000 jobs. Even though three quarters of bidders were disappointed, the government promised to dole out £950 million.

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