Unless one is going to take refuge in the discredited theory of an expansionary fiscal contraction or the scare story that closing the deficit any less rapidly would have resulted in a catastrophic run on UK government debt it’s still clear the economy would have recovered more rapidly without the Chancellor’s austerity.
There have been big cuts in poor areas and lighter cuts in well-off districts. If there was localised dissatisfaction at the impact of these cuts on services a national poll would not necessarily pick it up.
A surprisingly large share of minimum wage workers are in the top half of the distribution. Indeed, there are more minimum wage earners in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth highest deciles than in the bottom two poorest deciles.
I said that, sadly, Sir Anthony hasn’t produced post-tax estimates of the income share of those within the top 1 per cent. Happily, I was wrong on that point.
At the end of last month I interviewed the godfather of inequality research, Sir Anthony Atkinson, for The Independent to coincide with the publication of his new book “Inequality: What can be done?”
When many people think and talk about inequality what they are referring to is the disparity between the incomes of the rich and those in the middle.
For now at least, talk of an “exodus” from UK debt and a “Gilts strike” looks premature.
Allowing me the freedom to take my pension as a lump sum on retirement will, likely as not, mean that I neglect my very old self in favour of my newly retired self.
There’s nothing especially political about it. It’s a hard-nosed calculation that weighs up the costs of higher average inflation on the one hand, against the benefits of more stable inflation and real activity on the other.
UKIP, the SNP and the Greens cut through all the complexity and noise. They say quite simple things, in straightforward ways. They’re clear. They’re economical. They’re succinct – and they look like they mean it.
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