Fiscal Policy & Regulation
2.4K views | +1 today
Fiscal Policy & Regulation
Looking at Fiscal Policy, primarily in the UK
Curated by Bruce Fellowes
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Coca-Cola boss exclusive: We’re tackling the sugar question but tax isn’t the answer 

Coca-Cola boss exclusive: We’re tackling the sugar question but tax isn’t the answer  | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
The Government’s plan to impose a tax on soft drinks containing sugar made headlines after it was announced in the Budget in March. 

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, Today, 3:47 AM

The general manager of Coca-Cola in the UK and Ireland comments on the proposed sugar tax, suggesting that the market is well aware of the desire for low/no sugar alternatives and that it is providing them. He's sceptical as to the effectiveness of any sugar tax and notes that a McKinsey Global Institute report into the issue of obesity didn't have a sugar tax in the top 10 solutions to the problem. It argued that reformulation and portion control were much more effective.


All of which suggests that the proposed sugar tax might not have the expected effects - unintended consequences, anyone? - and that given the opportunity cost involved, we should be concerned about the welfare implications of overly-stringent intervention.

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Model agencies colluded to fix prices, competition regulator says

Model agencies colluded to fix prices, competition regulator says | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Allegations aimed at UK modelling industry, including agents that launched careers of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 25, 5:31 AM
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) allege that some of the UK's leading model agencies have colluded to fix the prices they charge. Ironically, they are alleged to have used the industry body, the Association of Model Agents, to have facilitated this.  
Scooped by Bruce Fellowes
Scoop.it!

Eurozone unlocks €10.3bn bailout loan for Greece

Eurozone unlocks €10.3bn bailout loan for Greece | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Meeting in Brussels ends in agreement at 2am after IMF waters down its demands to placate Germany and payment is split into two tranches
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from International Economics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

IMF tells EU it must give Greece unconditional debt relief

IMF tells EU it must give Greece unconditional debt relief | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Fund’s debt assessment calls for ‘upfront and unconditional’ debt relief for Athens or it will refuse to part-fund latest bailout

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 23, 6:25 PM
The other international story - those 'crazy' Greeks! The Guardian are reporting that the IMF are insisting on debt relief for Greece before they commit to funding the next tranche of the bailout. This throws up some interesting scenarios going forward. One wonders if the Leave campaign will make anything of this...
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Macroeconomics: UK economy Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

George Osborne, the really unfortunate chancellor

George Osborne, the really unfortunate chancellor | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Like some of his predecessors, Osborne has to cope with a trade deficit and budget deficit at the same time

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 23, 6:42 PM
This Larry Elliott article is a must-read. It's his take on the current macroeconomic environment and the implications of this for the Chancellor. He's not all that kind, which won't surprise many. 
Scooped by Bruce Fellowes
Scoop.it!

US corporate giants hoarding more than a trillion dollars

US corporate giants hoarding more than a trillion dollars | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Moody’s report says 72% of the money held by Apple, Google and other American companies is being parked offshore for tax reasons
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bruce Fellowes
Scoop.it!

Three reasons to watch Japan very carefully this month

Three reasons to watch Japan very carefully this month | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
May is a crucial month for the world's third-largest economy, with three key risk events on the calendar that could sway investor confidence.
Bruce Fellowes's insight:
As discussed in A2 Economics this week
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

EU blocks Three's takeover of O2 - BBC News

EU blocks Three's takeover of O2 - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
European Competition commission blocks Telefonica's sale of O2 to Three owner CK Hutchison.

Via Graham Watson
Bruce Fellowes's insight:
As discussed in lessons this week
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 11, 6:23 AM
The EU has blocked the proposed merger between O2 and Three on the grounds that it has concerns about consumer choice and the possibility of higher prices in the sector as a result of greater concentration in the UK market.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from International Economics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

IMF threatens to pull out of Greek rescue

IMF threatens to pull out of Greek rescue | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Christine Lagarde issues warning in letter leaked three days before eurozone finance ministers discuss help for Athens

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 7, 1:41 AM

I told you that this was the coming story...this Guardian article - replete with typos - highlights the fact that the IMF are reluctant to continue supporting Greek rescue plans unless there's some debt restructuring.


Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, is reputed to written that "For us to support Greece with a new IMF arrangement, it is essential that the financing and debt relief from Greece’s European partners are based on fiscal targets that are realistic because they are supported by credible measures to reach them".


And without continued IMF support, the current bailout package looks unsustainable.

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Macroeconomics: UK economy Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Osborne's 'cocktail of threats' excuse for the UK's ills has lost its fizz

Osborne's 'cocktail of threats' excuse for the UK's ills has lost its fizz | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
The chancellor blames Brexit jitters and the global slump for Britain’s economic woes – but the truth lies closer to home

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 6, 6:04 AM

Remarkably, I've reached my 500th image of George Osborne in a hi-vis jacket. Even more strangely, the Guardian are suggesting that his economic policy is in tatters and that claims that the causes of the current stagnation are exogenous are simply untrue.


It argues that confidence was declining even prior to the fears over Brexit, greater concerns about the health of the Chinese, and subsequently global, economy. And they may have a point.  

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

EU upholds tough rules on tobacco packaging - BBC News

EU upholds tough rules on tobacco packaging - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Rules that will drastically alter cigarette packaging are set to be adopted, after big tobacco firms failed to block new European Union laws.

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 4, 9:26 AM

I actually mentioned imperfect information to one of my top year sets this morning and, as if by magic, this appears. The article looks at the defeat for big tobacco as they tried to overturn new EU packaging legislation. The Court of Justice found that the laws didn't contravene EU legislation and this might have implications for member states (for now) such as the UK who are also trying to introduce packaging legislation.


Of course, the underlying issue is that in trying to inform smokers of the true costs of smoking, governments are trying to reduce the divergence between private and social costs, reducing the welfare loss associated with smoking. This sort of issue, tackling the over-consumption of demerit goods id standard examination fodder. 

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Macroeconomics: UK economy Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Top UK civil servant reviews HS2 project

Top UK civil servant reviews HS2 project | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Sir Jeremy Heywood is reportedly analysing controversial high-speed rail line to trim costs and gauge whether £55bn project can keep within budget

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 2, 4:28 PM
This is a surprise. Not. Sir Jeremy Heywood is apparently looking at HS2 with an eye to keeping control of costs, through the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. There's a fair amount of spin here - with Review Point 1 - looking at the capability of the management team in relation to the project - but the overall impression is that the gains from HS2 might not be as large as its proponents suggest.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Macroeconomics: UK economy Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

EU red tape is suffocating UK economy and Brexit can set us free

EU red tape is suffocating UK economy and Brexit can set us free | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
For those business people who believe both in remaining in the EU and in free markets, these are difficult times. In recent weeks, the government has made two major, possibly even historic, concessions to the left, making it harder for Remainers to argue that their position is the pro-capitalist one.

Via Graham Watson
Bruce Fellowes's insight:
Share your insight
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 1, 3:50 AM
Allister Heath writes in today's Telegraph arguing that a large part of the case for Brexit is about leaving the EU to avoid unnecessary EU regulation. Whilst this is a constant refrain, I'm afraid that I don't find it convincing: if there wasn't EU regulation, there would almost inevitably be UK regulation - and, as the article itself points out, the UK is already relatively lightly regulated.  
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from International Economics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Greek debt deal explained | FT World

The FT's Martin Sandbu explains what was agreed by the International Monetary Fund, eurozone finance ministers and the Greek authorities.


Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 25, 6:02 PM
The FT's Martin Sandbu outlines the intricacies of the latest tranche of the Greek bailout, looking at the involvement of the IMF and the concerns about the sustainability of Greek debt repayments.
Scooped by Bruce Fellowes
Scoop.it!

Google offices raided in Paris as prosecutors announce fraud probe

Google offices raided in Paris as prosecutors announce fraud probe | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Magistrates investigating tax payments reveal tech giant is being investigated for aggravated financial fraud and organised money laundering
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Money News
Scoop.it!

Yanis Varoufakis: "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?" | Talks at Google

A titanic battle is being waged for Europe’s integrity and soul, with the forces of reason and humanism losing out to growing irrationality.

In this "Talks at Google" lecture, Yanis Varoufakis delivers a fresh look at the history of Europe’s crisis and America’s central role in it.

 

He presents the ultimate case against austerity, proposing concrete policies for Europe necessary to address its crisis and avert contagion to America, China, and the rest of the world. With passionate, informative, and at times humorous prose, he warns that the implosion of an admittedly crisis–ridden and deeply irrational European monetary union should, and can, be avoided at all cost.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
more...
Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, May 24, 3:22 PM

A very interesting talk of Yanis Varoufakis about the Greek and European crises and the effects

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Competition watchdog objects to Land Registry sell-off

Competition watchdog objects to Land Registry sell-off | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Planned privatisation would grant new owner monopoly on commercially valuable data with no incentive to improve access, warns CMA

Via Graham Watson
Bruce Fellowes's insight:
As discussed in A2 Economics yesterday
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 23, 6:29 PM

Another very interesting story in the Guardian: Heather Stewart reports that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) aren't very keen on the proposed privatisation of the Land Registry.


This asks all sorts of interesting questions about the motives for privatisation, and the CMA criticism implies that, in this case at least, the revenue-raising motive comes before increasing efficiency. Furthermore, the New Economic Foundation, go further in suggesting that any revenue-raised is likely to be short-term and that, in the long-run, this privatisation could see the public start to lose out.   

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Austerity is far more than just cuts. It’s about privatising everything we own | Aditya Chakrabortty

Austerity is far more than just cuts. It’s about privatising everything we own | Aditya Chakrabortty | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Desperate for short-term cash, George Osborne is causing long-term damage by selling off Britain’s most prized assets. ‘Everything must go’ is now public policy

Via Graham Watson
Bruce Fellowes's insight:
As discussed in A2 Economics yesterday
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 24, 2:52 AM

Aditya Chabraobortty looks at the proposed privatisation of the Land Registry and Channel 4 within the context of austerity, arguing that far from relating to the public finances, the real issue with austerity is the transferral of wealth from poor to rich.


He sees privatisation as a replacement for true austerity focused on increasing tax revenues and argues that "At best, privatisation is a short-term gain for a long-term loss" - not something that I agree with. However, it's easier to agree with his view that there's little evidence to suggest that private sector management is significantly better than public sector management.

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Royal Mail warns market remains 'challenging' - BBC News

Royal Mail warns market remains 'challenging' - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Royal Mail reports a fall annual profits and warns that market conditions remain "challenging" despite rising parcel volumes.

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 19, 3:31 AM

Annual results from the Royal Mail suggest that the sector remains a tough one, and, indeed, it's only rising parcel volumes that are keeping revenues rising. It might be suggested that the nature of the reporting of results is yet another attempt to be rid of the universal service requirement for every day delivery in a world where the nature of communication has changed.


I suspect that within a few years, this particular regulation will have been relaxed and this will lower costs and boost, temporarily at least, profits.

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Nissan faces South Korean fine over 'faked' emissions results - BBC News

Nissan faces South Korean fine over 'faked' emissions results - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Nissan has been accused of manipulating emissions tests for its popular Qashqai model by the South Korean government.

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 16, 3:25 AM

And another emissions scandal, this time Korean authorities are accusing Nissan of fitting defeat devices to the Qashqai - ironic, given that Nissan has just bought a stake in Mitsubishi, another emissions 'cheat'.


Who's next?

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

BT is putting Ofcom’s White to the test over fibre optics

BT is putting Ofcom’s White to the test over fibre optics | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it

BT is determined to make things difficult for Sharon White at Ofcom.
It is going to be really hard for the regulator’s chief executive to claim that the company’s announcement last week of two million fibre-optic lines represents genuine progress towards her stated goal of around 40pc national coverage within a few years.


Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 10, 2:46 AM
This Daily Telegraph article - starting with a look at BT's proposed investment in superfast broadband is scathing in its assessment of Ofcom's decision not to separate BT Openreach from the rest of BT and hope to promote wider access to the existing network and new investment from other parties.

Unfortunately, Christopher Williams argues that no-one wants to invest in the sector because of the spectre of BT simply arriving to undercut its rivals and that the existing network is not fit for purpose. It puts Ofcom in a bit of a spot... 
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Macroeconomics: UK economy Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Labour condemns 'waste of money' energy scheme

Labour condemns 'waste of money' energy scheme | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Capacity market scheme to keep power stations on standby for peak demand could add £38 a year to each household bill

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 7, 2:33 AM

If you want proof of the shambolic nature of UK energy policy, then the capacity market scheme, designed to keep power stations open and ensure reserve capacity is a lovely example. The biggest criticism of the payments associated with the scheme are that they go to plants that would have already stayed open and diesel generators that are notoriously 'dirty'.


Of course, there's an irony here, though. The Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary is prepared to attack the scheme but might want to think about why it's required in the first place. The paucity of a coherent energy policy when her Party was in government.

Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from International Economics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Greece hit by general strike over pension and tax change - BBC News

Greece hit by general strike over pension and tax change - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Public transport and shipping hit as Greeks start a three-day general strike in protest at further austerity measures.

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 6, 5:54 AM
Watch this space for more on Greece - this public sector strike is likely to be the first round in a summer of Greek discontent. And watch for how the Leave campaign are going to spin it too. 
Scooped by Bruce Fellowes
Scoop.it!

Johnson & Johnson loses another court case over talcum powder and cancer

Johnson & Johnson loses another court case over talcum powder and cancer | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
Company to appeal, insisting product is safe, after being ordered to pay $55m to woman who said she developed ovarian cancer from feminine hygiene use
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Bruce Fellowes from Microeconomics: Pre-U Economics
Scoop.it!

Mobile phone roaming charges cut within EU - BBC News

Mobile phone roaming charges cut within EU - BBC News | Fiscal Policy & Regulation | Scoop.it
UK consumers using their mobile phones in Europe will see cheaper bills from Saturday, as a further cap on roaming charges takes effect.

Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, May 1, 2:40 AM

The market for mobile telephones has become more competitive, with the EU intervening to scrap roaming charges for mobile phone customers. The only thought about this is why did it take so long; it must have been one of the only markets in the EU characterised by a service charging individuals different amounts depending upon where they reside.


And a significant efficiency gain: the minister for the digital economy, Ed Vaizey estimates that it will save British consumers £350 million annually.