Ryan Bourne

At last, Biden’s cruel travel ban is ending

For many Brits and Europeans with ties to America, human relationships have been put on hold for an insufferably long time during the Covid-19 crisis. Today, at last, that changed. White House advisor Jeffrey Zients announced that anyone fully vaccinated from anywhere in the world will be able to enter the U.S. with a negative test

How to defuse Britain’s £1.45 trillion public-debt time-bomb

Last week’s public-finance statistics were truly dreadful. They showed that despite a year of fairly robust economic growth, UK government borrowing since the start of the financial year 2014 to 2015 was actually 10 per cent higher than in the same period in 2013 to 2014. Once again, it seems, our public finances will be

Increasing the minimum wage will only harm the lowest paid

‘If you earn £6 an hour flipping burgers then Allegra might have good news for you,’ said Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight yesterday. Paxman was of course introducing the mooted Conservative Party policy idea to increase the minimum wage, a story reported by Allegra Stratton. Stratton responded: ‘We’ve learnt that the Prime Minister’s advisors are thinking

Labour’s Valentine’s policy gimmick

At long last, Ed Miliband delivered us a Valentine’s Day present that everyone in the political world has been waiting for: a new policy! And a tax policy at that! Not just content with maintaining support for a temporary VAT cut, reversing the Coalition’s tax credit restraint and reversing the 50p tax rate cut (all

‘Plan B’ is not the answer

Is George Osborne’s plan working? You can see why his enemies are circling. If you take his own definition – his ‘fiscal rule’ that the debt/GDP ratio should be falling by the end of the Parliament – then no. But this is mainly because Osborne has been flexible – some would argue too flexible –

A Paul Ryan reader

Ever since Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate, the UK media has raced to portray him as a fiscal Sarah Palin and suggest that he advocates extremist policies. If anyone wants to find out for themselves, and learn about his policies and ideas, where do they start? Here is an introduction to one of the

Would a wealth tax work?

Roll up, roll up! The biannual Lib Dem half-baked tax policy circus is in town! Last time, the so-called ‘mansion tax’ show never lived up to its billing, as ringleader Clegg tried juggling too many ideas. We had the mansion tax, tycoon tax, new stamp duty bands and the more noble income tax threshold rise

Economic lessons from Germany

The Eurozone crisis is teaching us plenty about how to recover from recessions. The nations that tried a debt-fuelled stimulus have found that their economies haven’t grown much, but they are saddled with the extra debt. The Swedes have cut taxes for the low paid, the Estonians took the fast route back to fiscal sanity