Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews is economics editor of The Spectator

The Tories’ migration crackdown will have many victims

The UK’s immigration system must be ‘fair, consistent, legal and sustainable’, proclaimed the new Home Secretary as he presented his ‘five-point plan’ to reduce legal migration in parliament. James Cleverly billed these changes as ‘more robust action than any government’ has taken before to reduce the headline net migration figure.  They involve increasing the skilled

Kate Andrews

Starmer offers a heavy dose of the big state

Keir Starmer wants to set expectations early. Speaking at the Resolution Foundation’s economy conference later today, the opposition leader used his speech to emphasise just how little scope he’d have at the start of any Labour government to splash the cash. His party will not ‘turn on the spending taps’, he told an audience of

When will Rishi Sunak see sense on the Triple Lock?

When Jeremy Hunt announced his ‘Autumn Statement for Growth’ last week, there was a slight problem: the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had actually revised down its growth forecasts. Apart from this year and the last year for the forecast, GDP gains are expected to be smaller than were predicted back in March. Yes, the

New Zealand’s smoking ban u-turn is bad news for Rishi Sunak

New Zealand’s new coalition government has announced that it will scrap Jacinda Ardern’s plan to usher in a generational smoking ban. The scheme would have steadily lifted the legal age for buying cigarettes from 2027, effectively stopping anyone born after 2008 from purchasing them.  The right-leaning parties now in power – the National party, the

In defence of the latest high migration figures

The debate over migration figures released today seems to be whether or not we’ve reached a new ‘record high’. The Office for National Statistics reports net migration rose 672,000 in the year to June. This would have been a record high if the ONS hadn’t also revised last year’s figures up by a staggering 140,000 to 745,000.

The truth about Hunt’s ‘tax cutting’ Autumn Statement

Jeremy Hunt’s March Budget was an exercise in Big State Toryism. It lacked meaningful tax cuts, was full of new spending promises, and was estimated by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to take the ratio of public spending to GDP to ‘43.4 per cent, its highest sustained level since the 1970s’. But today’s Autumn Statement, the

Can Jeremy Hunt cut taxes in good conscience?

When the government announces a range of tax cuts tomorrow, it has pledged to do so in a ‘sustainable’ way. What counts as sustainable, however, is going to be hotly contested – especially in light of this morning’s update from the Office for National Statistics, which saw the UK borrow more than forecast or expected last month.

Why have Sunak and Hunt suddenly decided they want tax cuts?

The government’s transition on taxes has taken place at lightning speed. We’ve gone from chancellor Jeremy Hunt hinting at tax cuts yesterday morning on the BBC to Rishi Sunak confirming that not only are tax cuts coming this Wednesday, but they are now a major priority for the government, as laid out in five new promises made today. Arguably

What changed Hunt’s mind on tax cuts?

Has Jeremy Hunt had a change of heart or a change of circumstances? The Chancellor has spent the past few months crushing any hope of a major tax cut in next Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, insisting that the government’s main priorities – including tackling inflation and improving the dire state of the public finances – directly

Sunak meets first pledge as the rate of inflation halves

Inflation has slowed significantly, according to the latest update from the Office for National Statistics. The headline rate was 4.6 per cent in the year to October, down from 6.7 per cent the previous month. The sharp slowdown is largely attributed to last year’s hikes in energy prices dropping out of the data with the figures now

The UK labour market is beginning to cool

Slowly but surely, the labour market in the UK appears to be cooling down. Data from the Office for National Statistics this morning shows the number of job vacancies across the economy fell by another 58,000 between July to September, taking the total figure to an estimated 957,000. This is still far above pre-pandemic levels, but the

The spectre of recession continues to haunt the UK economy

The UK economy grew 0.2 per cent in September. This followed 0.1 per cent growth in August, revised downwards from 0.2 per cent. Monthly figures don’t always tell a story on their own, but these past two months of data reflect the UK economy’s trend for the year – one, unfortunately, of virtually no growth.

After 13 years of Tory rule, is this it?

There were no big surprises in the King’s Speech today. That’s a shame. Rishi Sunak and his ministers like to insist their agenda for the next year is an ambitious one. They’re making ‘difficult but necessary long-term decisions to change this country for the better’, as read out by the King to parliament. Yet the

Has the Bank of England done enough to stave off recession?

The Bank of England has held interest rates at their 15-year high for a second time. Markets were expecting another pause, but there was no guarantee: once again the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was split on the decision, voting 6 – 3 to hold rates at 5.25 per cent. The minority on the committee were

Rishi’s smoking ban inspired me to light a cigarette

What has Rishi Sunak’s government achieved in its first year? The highlights include a renegotiated Brexit policy and setting more practical net-zero deadlines. But Sunak asked the country to judge him on his ability to deliver his pledges set out at the start of the year. If polls are to be believed, voters are preparing

Unemployment is up – but can we trust the ONS’s numbers?

The UK’s unemployment rate rose to 4.2 per cent in the three months leading up to August this year, according to new experimental data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is a 0.2 per cent increase compared with the previous quarter (March to May 2023), but not a big change compared to previous data sets.

Pressure is mounting for Jeremy Hunt to find tax cuts 

Timing is a funny thing. The Chancellor received some good news about the public finances this morning, just when everyone is focused on fairly catastrophic election results for the Tories. A few hours after it was announced that strong Conservative majorities were overturned in the ​​Mid-Bedfordshire and Tamworth by-elections (Katy Balls analyses the results here), we

Has inflation stuck?

‘As we have seen across other G7 countries, inflation rarely falls in a straight line,’ said Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this morning in response to UK inflation data for September. We’ve seen this in the UK, too: at the start of the year, the rate of inflation rose from 10.1 per cent on the year in