Hammond’s new Budget headache

  • 10 October 2017
  • From the section Business
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond Image copyright Reuters

Budget Day for the Chancellor just became a little more tricky.

The announcement by the government's official economic watchdog that it expects to downgrade productivity growth over the next five years is likely to mean lower tax revenues for the government.

And lower tax revenues mean that reducing the deficit becomes harder.

Low levels of productivity are a demonstration of an economy that is not very good at creating wealth.

Or wage growth.

Falling incomes

Read full article Hammond’s new Budget headache

Richard Thaler and the economics of how we live

  • 9 October 2017
  • From the section Business
Salad bar Image copyright AFP
Image caption Changing the positioning of healthier foods can change shopping habits

How do you get people to eat more healthily?

You could construct some powerful arguments about how an obesity epidemic is leading to more diseases such as Type II diabetes and coronary heart conditions.

Read full article Richard Thaler and the economics of how we live

My blog is taking a break

  • 28 July 2017
  • From the section Business

My blog is taking a break.

I will not be writing my blog over the summer as I am taking some extended leave to write a book.

Read full article My blog is taking a break

National Insurance tax hit for gig economy firms

  • 11 July 2017
  • From the section Business
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Media captionMatthew Taylor: gig economy firms should pay national insurance on workers

One department is likely to be cheering the publication of the Mathew Taylor review into the new world of work.

The Treasury will be delighted with the recommendations from Mr Taylor, the head of the Royal Society of Arts, on gig economy companies.

Read full article National Insurance tax hit for gig economy firms

Minimum wage push for gig economy workers

  • 10 July 2017
  • From the section Business
Deliveroo courier Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Deliveroo's takeaway food riders could be in line for the minimum wage

A government review of the rapidly changing world of work is to demand a radical overhaul of employment law and new guarantees on the minimum wage.

The review is set to call for a new category of worker called a "dependent contractor".

Read full article Minimum wage push for gig economy workers

Deliveroo opens door to benefits win for gig economy workers

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Media captionWill Shu, Deliveroo's boss, says the law needs to change to catch up with the modern economy

The food delivery firm Deliveroo has said it will pay sickness and injury benefits to its 15,000 riders in the UK if the law is changed.

In a submission to the government's review of the "on-demand" economy seen by the BBC, the firm says that at present the law prevents it from offering enhanced rights because it classifies its riders as self-employed.

Read full article Deliveroo opens door to benefits win for gig economy workers

Britain’s wealth problem – we don’t create enough of it

Welder Image copyright Getty Images

Today's productivity figures are bad to the point of shocking.

A fall of 0.5% in the first three months of the year takes the UK economy's ability to create wealth back below the level of 2007.

Read full article Britain’s wealth problem – we don’t create enough of it

'Gig economy' workers 'should get minimum wage'

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Media captionLord Adair Turner spoke out against low-wage jobs

The former chairman of the Low Pay Commission has said that the minimum wage should be extended to gig economy workers.

Lord Adair Turner argued that the proliferation of "low-wage jobs" needed to be tackled and that some companies were categorising workers as "self-employed" to avoid low-pay protections.

Read full article 'Gig economy' workers 'should get minimum wage'

Hammond’s public sector pay challenge

Philip Hammond Image copyright AFP

The Treasury jealously guards its role as keeper of the public purse.

And far from the mood since the general election easing on the matter of "sound money", the word among senior figures in the department is that now is the time "to hold our nerve".

Read full article Hammond’s public sector pay challenge

Banks warned on ballooning consumer borrowing

  • 27 June 2017
  • From the section Business
cars for sale at dealership Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Car finance borrowing is rising rapidly

Ultra low interest rates were put in place after the financial crisis to stop a recession turning into a depression.

Many believe they worked.

Read full article Banks warned on ballooning consumer borrowing