policy

April 22, 2024

Taxing Problem: the Uk’s Incoherent Tax System

The UK tax system is incoherent. Even ignoring benefits styled as tax credits and the withdrawal of child benefit, taxpayers can face seven different marginal rates of personal tax. In the long term, aiming for significantly lower levels of government spending could facilitate substantial marginal tax rate cuts, and the government should aim to return to a tax system with two, or preferably one, overall marginal rates of tax on income.
September 13, 2023

The Eternal Battle between Ideology and Expertise

In politics and policymaking, controversies and conflicts arise often. The term denotes situations where even knowledgeable, rational, and sincere actors struggle to resolve an issue purely by examining the available expertise.
November 14, 2019

Nanny State on Tour

This study calculates how much UK foreign aid was spent (in 2018 prices) on lifestyle interventions targeting smoking, drinking, eating and sedentary behaviour.UK taxpayers spent £44.6million on ‘nanny state’ foreign aid projects between 2005 and 2018, spread over 35 projects in 47 countries. The three biggest recipients were China (£7.9million), India (£2.2 million) and Colombia (£1.8 million).
September 6, 2018

Minimum Wage Regulation; It’s Complicated

Raising mandatory minimum wage might seem to be a simple policy that serves to increase wages for low-income earners. Politicians use this policy with good intentions to reduce poverty and inequality. Yet, it has serious drawbacks and creates unintended consequences.
April 6, 2018

Fast Food Outlets and Obesity: What is the Evidence?

Several local authorities in Britain have introduced ‘zoning laws’ to restrict fast food outlets within a certain distance of schools. Public Health England, the British Medical Association and the Mayor of London have all endorsed this policy as a way of tackling childhood obesity.
December 14, 2016

Personal Pensions in the European Union

The development of personal pensions at the national and cross-border levels is hindered by high compulsory payments to public pension funds, restrictions on the participation of the self-employed and the unemployed, rules governing access to retirement savings, taxation of retirement income and other national legal requirements.
October 24, 2016

Ploughing the Wrong Furrow

The precautionary principle provides non-farming interest groups with a pseudo-official means of influencing policy. The result is a drift towards overregulation and regulatory failures which are in conflict with the efficient working of the single market.
June 29, 2016

Brexit: a Natural Experiment for the EU

Can a country do better after leaving the EU? Indeed, we can perform an even more granular analysis and seek to establish in which policy areas the greater policy flexibility and decentralisation which comes with departure might outweigh the cost of losing the EU’s four freedoms and its constitutional barriers against bad government policy.
December 1, 2014

Ibl Index of Liberalizations 2014

The new edition of Istituto Bruno Leoni’s Index of Liberalizations ranks the UK as the most liberalized country in the EU-15, followed by the Netherlands and Sweden. The Index surveys a range of sectors, from energy and telecommunications to transport and insurance, ranking each of the EU-15 Member States relative to the one which scores highest.