Why Labour must abandon its commitment to HS2

Speaking at the Labour Party conference today, Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh reiterated her support for the HS2 project.  Economically, environmentally and politically, this is the wrong decision. The economic and political arguments against HS2 have been well-rehearsed – put simply, the claims made by its proponents do not stand up.  Notoriously, its economic case […]

Ed Balls and credibility

On the day of Ed Balls’ speech to the Labour Party conference – which included a ringing declaration of the need for fair deficit reduction – Chris Dillow raises some interesting points about fiscal credibility.  He writes: At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22min) gave us a wonderful […]

How Ed Miliband’s £8 per hour minimum wage pledge will create jobs

In the run-up to the Labour Party conference, Ed Miliband has announced that a Labour government will raise the national minimum wage to £8 per hour.  It’s an important announcement, and one that builds on Labour’s commitment to ensure that people in work are able to earn a decent sufficiency. It will be attacked by […]

One Nation Labour and the search for an economic narrative

I have spent some time carefully reading Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford’s pamphlet One Nation: Labour’s Political Renewal.  It aims to give an overarching rationale for the outcome of Labour’s policy review.  It is ambitious and in many respects offers a powerful diagnosis of a society that has become disillusioned, impoverished, unequal, unambitious.  There are […]

Full employment is not enough

George Osborne has announced that he wants to make full employment a key policy goal – and that Britain should aspire to the highest employment rate in the OECD.  It sounds like a significant shift in policy from a party that has previously accepted unemployment as a price worth paying to achieve its policy goals. […]

An economic and political case for generous social security spending

After a week of political debate about the Governments benefits cap – and Labour’s support for it – at last Ha-Joon Chang, in an article in the Guardian today, takes us back to the economics.  And, not entirely surprisingly, considering the economics takes us to a very different place from the political debate. I take […]

Should Labour support the benefits cap?

George Osborne’s Budget package includes a cap on the overall level of benefit spending – excluding pensions and some unemployment benefits.  Labour has tonight said it will vote with the Government to support it.  I’ve blogged before – and before I joined the Labour Party – about the regressive effects of benefits caps  and why Labour […]