April 2013 will see arguably the biggest shake up of tax and benefits for a generation. The bedroom tax, where people in social housing with a spare bedroom lose up to 25% of their housing benefit, is now in force. The normal annual increase in benefits in April will be just 1% this month, representing a real-terms cut in benefits for the first time ever.
At the eleventh hour, Cyprus seems to have managed to agree a bailout with its euro area partners. Using a new law governing bank failures, the two big troubled banks in Cyprus – Laiki and Bank of Cyprus – will be restructured,
It now looks very likely to me that we will see the breakup of the euro area. Cyprus has until Monday to find the EUR6bn or so that it needs to contribute towards a bailout package that could recapitalise its banks and provide the government with external funding.
Today’s Budget was disappointingly predictable. Faced with the worst post-recession recovery in living memory – our current malaise even outstrips the Great Depression – many were hoping for the Chancellor to see the light and spend more in order to get growth going.
Unfortunately, the highly political George Osborne again put his own interests in front of what would be best for the country.
Cypriots woke up on Saturday morning to discover that they were significantly poorer than they previously thought. As part of the agreement on a long-running call for financial assistance from the Eurozone and IMF,
Few things have been as stable in British politics as the relationship between the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Chancellor, George Osborne. The two are old friends, cut from the same cloth, and enjoyed each others’ company even before Cameron rose to lead the Conservative Party.
Recently the news story that dominated the press was the newly appointed Archbishop Welby saying that ‘benefit changes will push children into poverty’ (The Guardian). Fantastic we can rejoice! This is exactly the type of thing we want to hear the church saying. This is what Christianity is all about,
At last month’s Inflation Report press conference, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said that there were limits to what monetary policy can achieve.
In the aftermath of the Italian elections, economists and politicians are busy trying to read the tea leaves to get a handle on what’s next for the euro area’s third largest economy.
As Italy’s upcoming election dawns closer and closer our news is suddenly being diverted to the most unlikely of political candidates, Beppe Grillo. Grillo being a famous Italian comedian and actor, who has recently captured the hearts of many Italians with his outspoken and critical approach to politics.
Who would have guessed that a former Eastern Bloc country would struggle in reaching equilibrium with economies like that of Germany whilst pegged to the Euro?
Unless you have been living abroad for the past few years, you will probably have noticed that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has not done a very good job of hitting the inflation target. Since CPI inflation was last below the 2% target in November 2009, it has subsequently averaged 3.5%. RPI inflation has averaged 4.3% over the same period.