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Are Mandarins the problem?

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 897 views

The relationship between politicians and civil servants is back in the spotlight. Janan Ganesh in the FT, for example, has argued that civil servants need to be brought to heel more effectively by their political masters. Cries of ‘politicisation’, whenever the prized…

Welfare reform: the evidence mounts

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 760 views

There is little doubt that IDS’s pet project – welfare reform – is having a significant impact on the lives of some of the most disadvantaged members of our society. And for every case where we might conclude that impact…

Vince on “social housing”

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 894 views

Vince Cable made a substantial speech to the Royal Economic Society at the beginning of this week. The speech is worth reading in full because it represents one of the most thorough, thoughtful and wide-ranging perspectives on the economy that you are…

A voyage of rediscovery

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 711 views

Today’s papers bring us further news of the sickness that afflicts our housing market. On the front page of the Telegraph is a piece focusing on St Vince of Cable’s warning that the housing market is exhibiting all the signs of overheating…

Reframing housing policy

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 834 views

Yesterday I spent the morning at a meeting of housing policy types. Around the table were policy-makers, practitioners, voluntary sector representatives, and a sprinkling of academics. Everyone there was, as far as I could tell, signed up to the idea…

Boris's housing plan

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 774 views

London’s population is increasing rapidly and forecasts say this growth is set to continue over the next decade and more. However, the last time the capital had enough new houses to match this rate of population growth was the 1930s. Homes…

Careful now

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 737 views

If you were entertaining any idea that changes to property and land taxes could help to curb the volatility of the UK housing market then just stop it. That is the message of a new report Taxing Issues? released by…

Help to buy and the death of Keynesianism

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 823 views

When I first studied macroeconomics the Stagflation era of the 1970s and the death of Keynesianism were still being quite hotly debated. They were still contemporary events. Well, they were contemporary events in the way that the election of Tony…

Miliband’s housing promises reflect an escalating crisis

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 713 views

The commentariat has gone into overdrive in the wake of Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference. Does it represent, at last, the shattering of the neoliberal consensus? Is it the articulation of a vision for a more inclusive and humane…

‘roots against the machine

Alex Marsh / June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 798 views

Last weekend’s Liberal Democrat conference was hailed by most of the mainstream media as a victory for Nick Clegg over the party’s grassroots activists. Commentators across the right wing press congratulated him on a job well done. Clegg engineered a…

From the archive: The miraculous power of welfare reform

Alex Marsh / August 11, 2014 at 8:39 PM 815 views

The international news is pretty grim at the moment. This doesn’t really fit well with the traditional idea that we’re in silly season, when Prime Ministers travel to holiday destinations to point at fish. Yet something that fits entirely comfortably…

From the archive: The dangers of weak policy foundations

Alex Marsh / September 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM 1,258 views

Today [6th September] we witnessed a number of important developments, if you happen to be a policy geek. These developments have a substantially different character, and provide students of the policy process with much to chew on. This morning we…

From the archive: The Coalition’s pernicious lobbying bill

Alex Marsh / August 31, 2013 at 8:36 PM 1,315 views

When the Coalition’s Lobbying Bill appeared in public for the first time, just before the summer recess, much attention was focused on Part I. Most critics agree that it represents an utterly feeble attempt to address the problem of corporate lobbying. Indeed,…