IEA - New Zealand abandons tobacco ban, Rishi Sunak now stands alone
Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on New Zealand’s incoming government’s decision to repeal the generational tobacco ban
“The eccentric idea of a generational smoking ban is doomed to failure. It is an unworkable pipe dream that will only enrich tobacco smugglers and erode respect for the law while doing little to reduce smoking.
“The Kiwi U-turn comes just weeks after the Malaysian government abandoned a similar policy because age discrimination is unconstitutional. Prime Minster Rishi Sunak now stands alone in the world, carrying the torch of a policy dreamt up by Jacinda Ardern at the fag end of a Labour government on the other side of the world.”
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The IFS Scottish Budget Report – 2024–2523/02/2024 10:20:00
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IEA - Red tape has fuelled the cost of living crisis, argues new IEA paper22/02/2024 16:20:00
Since 2000, sectors with heavy state intervention have experienced large price rises while competitive markets have experienced price falls.
IFS - Scottish Government boosts support for students’ living costs, but further cuts funding for universities to teach them22/02/2024 10:20:00
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Demos - New statistics confirm that the pandemic has had a sustained negative impact on employment in the UK – here’s how policy makers should respond22/02/2024 09:20:00
This week the ONS published new statistics about employment and jobs in the UK – the first time for a number of months due to problems with survey response rates. With the appropriate caveats that the figures are estimates based on survey data – and therefore, as always, they come with a margin of error – here’s what we learnt from the new statistics, and some of the implications for policy makers.
IPPR - Calls for ‘quick win’ changes to social security as claimants say system leaves them ‘scared, exhausted and drained’21/02/2024 15:05:00
A state of the nation report on the UK’s social security system concludes with a package of reforms to cut poverty, incentivise work and deliver quick wins to create a modern welfare system.
IFS - January usually sees the government run an overall surplus, as this is the month when a large chunk of self-assessment receipts is paid21/02/2024 13:10:00
Today’s ONS government borrowing figures suggest that the public sector ran a surplus of £16.7 billion in January. This is much bigger than the £7.5 billion surplus it ran in January 2023, and is the biggest January surplus on record.
King's Fund - An unhealthy end looms for the private finance initiative19/02/2024 09:20:00
The private finance initiative (PFI) was controversial from day one. Ten thousand or so days later it still is, as the first of these 25–30-year contracts for the private sector to finance, design, build and maintain public assets, including hospitals, come to an end.