Latest Posts

The maths of Housing Policy

HA is Housing Association RTB is Right to Buy. Maths problems have featured highly in the news this week.  The one from Singapore to test pupils’ aptitudes (and Daily Mail readers) as well as the Today programme giving out the wrong answer to their own maths challenge on air. But the government has set its […]

Housing – on the side of working families (aren’t they all?)

The Conservative Manifesto is released today in Swindon with the Thatcher like Right to Buy at the centre of today’s announcement. Politically I can see why the Right To Buy policy is appealing.  The upper class due of Cameron and Osborne don’t tend to appeal to the  aspirational C1 C2 demographic – skilled tradesman, lower paid […]

CPI – Inflationary forces…

    Is Deflation finally coming to the UK starting tomorrow? Before I start this piece, I want to remind all of how appallingly difficult inflation is to forecast. Last summer I put together a chart based on Bank of England two and three year inflation forecasts.   The red line below is what the Bank of […]

IHT or TIH – Tories In need of Help

Its a glorious sunny day here in Wimbledon and so this will be short… Cameron’s IHT policy is clearly an important political message of aspiration and family values rather than a policy that will either help many or actually have much fiscal impact. The OBR has numbers on death rates and estates subject to IHT: http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/wordpress/docs/IHT-number-of-deaths.pdf […]

Greece – Game Playing

What is Greece up to?  Is it deliberately trying to provoke its European partners?  Because the actions of its politicians certainly looks like it. Easter Monday – a time of forgiveness and family time (as well as chocolate) – the deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas said Germany owed it nearly E279bn for the Nazi occupation during World War 2.   Today Prime […]

BG Shell – Its all about the costs…

A £47bn deal has ignited the energy sector with share prices of most oil companies, both large and small up this morning. Shell B shares are trading down 6% at 2083p.  (No surprise given over 1.5bn new shares in Shell will have to be issued to fund the deal, worth over £30bn).   The current Shell share price values the share component […]

Everything is awesome… Lego fot Times.

Lego is a money making machine:   http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/columnists/article4402775.ece

The Job’s Miracle

My OP ED in today’s Sun: ED MILIBAND is harming the very people he is supposed to help with his repellent message that certain jobs are demeaning. Miliband’s first job in politics was working for his dad’s mate Tony Benn. Lucky him to have such helpful parents. As a teenager, Ed was reviewing films and […]

Two Tribes.. and two charts..

“When two tribes go to war A point is all you can score” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, proving my age) Milliband and Cameron debate at 9pm tonight on Sky, two very different tribes hoping to score important political points. At PMQs yesterday Cameron ruled out an increase to VAT.  This is interesting because of what was buried in the […]

Its the politics, stupid…

This was quite clearly a very political budget.  In the first 30mins only one small policy was announced, to allow farmers to smooth their income to mitigate tax.  The first half of the speech was all about Osborne’s economic legacy.  What he has achieved so far and therefore why he should continue with the job. This was a re-election pitch first and a […]