Category: Economy

Five areas in Yorkshire and the Humber named ‘least socially mobile’ in the UK

Alex Toal

Figures released yesterday by the Social Mobility Commission reveal that five local authorities in the Yorkshire and the Humber region are among the 24 least socially mobile in the country. Bradford is listed in 2nd place, behind only Chiltern in the South East, with Hull, Rotherham, Kirklees and North East Lincolnshire all featuring on the […]

Our future: countryside and the environment

Hugh Goulbourne

Last week’s Extinction Rebellion protests once again saw images in the media of climate campaigners protesting in city centres while people tried to do their work around them, look after children or find somewhere peaceful to have a sandwich in their lunch break. The protests shone a spotlight on the increasing divisions in our society. […]

Rescuing the economy – the Keynesian way

John Cole
gold round coins

Just about everyone is aware of the huge increases in government spending in the last seven months, as the government bankrolls the economy in a world where many workers have been furloughed or made redundant. Not only has government expenditure increased, but the 20 percent reduction in economic activity means that tax receipts have fallen […]

UK business survey: more than 80% unprepared for no-deal Brexit

Anthony Robinson

Just how well placed are UK businesses for Brexit on 1 January 2021? A Brexit readiness survey conducted among supply chain managers and published today has revealed a disturbing picture, with just 18 percent of UK businesses said to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit. The survey, with work carried out in July for Descartes […]

Decade of discovery

Javed Bashir
shallow focus photography of magnifying glass with black frame

Part two of a three part series on social change. Part one – Decade of dissonance – is available HERE. One hundred years ago, there was World War One and the Spanish Flu that killed over 50 million people and infected a third of the world population. In 2020, we have a global pandemic with Covid-19 […]

Labour warns of “jobs bonfire”

Anthony Robinson

Labour’s shadow business and consumer minister has slammed the government for costing small businesses millions of pounds in wasted preparations after they were given just 24 hours’ notice to scrap a planned reopening. Lucy Powell set out yesterday how bowling alleys, casinos and beauty salons across the country had all spent time and money preparing to […]

Levelling up Britain: a reality check

Grace Pritchard

Too many people have yet to recover from austerity mark I, and the effects of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come. With the Bank of England warning that we are about to face the “worst recession for three hundred years”, and with the full impact of Brexit still to hit, the thought of austerity mark II is almost too much to bear.

EU banking watchdog tells British banks: Check, Change and Come – to Europe

Anthony Robinson

As the British government launches its advertising campaign to help businesses and individuals prepare for the end of the transition period, with the inevitable three-word slogan “Check – Change – Go”, the European Banking Authority (EBA) had a message of its own to Britain’s financial institutions. In a lengthy and uncompromising statement published yesterday on its […]

Britain to develop world-beating circumlocution industry

Anthony Robinson

Charles Dickens invented the Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit, a fictional government paper-shuffling department which never achieved anything but, “in the spirit of national efficiency” gradually led to it having “something to do with everything”. Dickens talked of people “who in slow lapse of time and agony” became lost inside it. It appears from the […]

UK single market white paper: “irony so bitter it makes your eyes bleed”

Anthony Robinson

Only a government as intellectually incoherent as this one could publish in the same week two important documents with absolutely no consistent philosophy underpinning the policy objectives behind them. Worse, the objectives themselves seem diametrically opposed. On Monday, we got the border operating model setting out all the new barriers to trade the government intends to […]

Talks of levelling up the North at the Northern Powerhouse summit

Jane Thomas
black and white blackboard business chalkboard

Yorkshire looks set to get more devolution deals next year, according to Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government. This could see the whole of Yorkshire soon having some form of devolution settlement. Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse education, skills and employment summit this week, the minister said, “In the North of England, […]

OBR forecasts government borrowing to hit £385bn this year

Anthony Robinson
bank blur business buy

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released its latest fiscal sustainability report for July 2020 yesterday. The report was finalised before the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yet more spending measures, so the figures were out of date even before the report saw the light of day. The OBR was set to forecast that government […]

Masking the real problem for Boris Johnson

Jane Thomas

The belated news that wearing face masks is so important that we have to wait another ten days before it comes into force is another example of how we are being played by this government. Interviewed by Andrew Marr last Sunday, Michael Gove said he did not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops […]

The BOGOF chancellor

Jane Thomas

“The final measure I’m announcing today has never been tried in the UK before. This moment is unique. We need to be creative.” said Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday in his summer statement. And with that final flourish he announced the latest BOGOF (buy-2-get-1-free) scheme to hit the high street. Promising discounts of up to […]

Sunak’s magic money tree

Jane Thomas

A lot could still go wrong, but this an opportunity to do the right thing with more honesty, transparency and attention to detail. It remains to be seen whether Sunak will grasp this opportunity.

Chancellor’s employment support programme is not enough

Hugh Goulbourne

This weekend’s briefings by the chancellor in relation to Wednesday’s mini-budget were a welcome response to cross-sector demands for employment support. But the proposed support programme could work so much better if accompanied by regional economic strategies designed by metropolitan mayors who are in touch with business leaders and the needs of their local economies, […]

How to dig ourselves out of an enormous economic hole

Andy Brown

Few people are fascinated by the intricacies of quantitative easing. Which is a shame because how it is done is going to have an enormous influence over everyone’s lives for at least the next decade. As I write, the Bank of England has just announced that it will operate another programme of £100bn of it. […]

Bxllocks to the red, white and blue

Juliet Lodge

It’s very tempting to ask Antony Gormley how much paint would be needed to cover his 65-foot tall Angel of the North with its wingspan as wide as a Boeing 767. And how much it’d cost to slap red, white and blue on it. No doubt a lot less than the £900,000 for tarting-up the […]

UK economy takes a massive dive

Jane Thomas

Figures from today’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) report make grim reading and show that economic recovery for the country is going to be a long, slow haul. The 20.4 per cent fall in the UK economy in April is the largest since records began. All sectors have experienced historic falls, with manufacturing and the […]

Fuelling the recovery: the case for raising fuel duty

Helen Davidson

With a £337 billion hole in Britain’s finances, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak is urgently looking for ways to plug it. In a time of plummeting petrol prices, Helen Davidson examines how increasing fuel tax could help fund the coronavirus debt, assist the government’s gradual easing of lockdown and have only a marginal impact on consumers. […]

Treasury warns of “sovereign debt crisis” caused by Covid-19

Anthony Robinson

The Telegraph has got hold of a leaked Treasury document warning of a “sovereign debt crisis” unless the economy soon begins to recover from the seven-week coronavirus lock down. On 1 April, a week after the lockdown was announced, Yorkshire Bylines ran an article: Coronavirus and Brexit: double austerity on steroids is coming up which now […]

Coronavirus and Brexit: double austerity on steroids is coming up

Anthony Robinson

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently warned that the economic shock from the present coronavirus pandemic was already bigger than the financial crash of 2008–09. It means we are almost certain to be looking at another ten years of austerity at least, but this time on steroids. Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general, […]