Neighbourly quizzes, hybrid hang-ups and the dangers of the fastweb

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Afternoon all, Chester has chuntered, giving the government of the day a kicking. Maybe by-elections returning to their rightful role in British politics will reassure the traditionalists who’ve spent the week panicking about the decline in religiosity (it’s less likely to help the racists worrying about quite how white London is). Obviously Labour types should … Continued

Tackling tax dodgers and picking the perfect team

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Afternoon all, Whether or not football’s your thing, the World Cup is a welcome relief from cost-of-living trauma. Unless you’re one of these fans actually in Qatar paying £12 a pint (or Welsh). The relief is of course fairly dependent on the winning bit, so we’d better see some of that tonight vs. the US. … Continued

Autumn Statement Special

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Afternoon all, Now this really does need to be the last one. We just can’t keep going at a rate of one a week. I’m so tired I can hardly see, which is why this week’s TOTCs isn’t exactly on time. The problem of course is the policy chaos/u-turn spiral driving fiscal event frequency inflation … Continued

Medieval mayors, price hikes for pensioners and fighting over fiscal holes

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Afternoon all, You know who the best car passengers are? The ones that suggest you might be going a bit too fast, AFTER the mini-Budget you’ve gone straight over the roundabout, through the front window of the local Sainsburys and come to a rest having knocked all the mortgage food products off the shelves. Of course not everything is going … Continued

Catching trains, planes and marriage material

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Afternoon all, It wasn’t what you’d normally call good news from the Bank of England yesterday. Apparently, our incomes will fall by around £800 per household next year. Wonderful. The forecast that we’re a few months in to a two-year long recession is just what we all want to hear. We’re talking about the economy … Continued

Britain’s boom in ungrateful retirees

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  Afternoon all, Sorry TOTCs is slightly later than normal, this morning was taken up with some painful editing of our preview for the Autumn Statement. Painful because of the substance rather than the editing challenge obviously. We may have got a new PM, but the extent to which we haven’t escaped our underlying low … Continued

Record resignations and the remnants of Trussonomics

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Afternoon all, When I was a lad the fields were green, the maidens fair and when you bought a new toy Prime Minister they didn’t break the second you started playing with them they started playing with the country. I had to wait until I was eight to get my first new Prime Minister, but my kids (7 … Continued

Curtains for the Chancellor?

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Afternoon all, British economic policy making is in one of its chaos phases. I’d like these to come a bit less often. ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ isn’t generally the most helpful response to a request for advice. But don’t discount it in all circumstances. There are times when it’s more useful than others i.e. … Continued

The Rise of the Robots, Rents and Mortgage Rates

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Afternoon all, I generally thank my lucky stars that I get paid to keep up with economic and political developments. It’s a massive privilege. But it’s also impossible right now. Another week of ups and downs in the gilt market is translating into the real world: interest rates on some fixed rate mortgages are hitting … Continued

Counting the cost of tax cuts, bailouts and queues

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Afternoon all, I hope you’re all holding it together amidst a truly chaotic week. Appreciate it’s hard to keep up and you’re probably already saturated with reading things about the madness, so we’re aiming to provide some light relief with reads that don’t cover floundering pension funds or rising interest rates (though this is a good … Continued

Blowing the budget special

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Morning all, Apologies that TOTC is late – even later than I warned last week. If it’s any consolation I’m being punished by an involuntary couple of hours triathloning this morning, which us just what you want after a 24-hour stint number crunching the Chancellor’s massive statement yesterday. Hopefully I won’t sink quite as fast … Continued

Charting the UK’s monarch-by-monarch economic growth story

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Afternoon all, Sorry to leave your inboxes empty last Friday, but rightly the focus very much wasn’t on economic policy. The missing TOTCs would have covered the new Prime Minister’s very large Energy Price Guarantee, the full Resolution analysis of which is belatedly now out for the keen among you. The unprecedented running together of … Continued

New Prime Minister special

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Afternoon all, This weekend marks the end of several eras. Most importantly for the nation the school holidays, as the joys of combining work and the school run return. Selfishly I’m more focused on another era coming to a close – the one called ‘youth’ (my twin and I turn 40 on Sunday). The only … Continued

Political presumptions, horrible histories – and an energy emergency

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Afternoon all, It’s good to be back after a very pleasant few weeks in the Alps. Walking steeply rising paths has been much-needed relief from looking at charts of ever more steeply rising energy prices. And it’s good to see you’ve all really been pulling your fingers out while I was away – truly impressive … Continued

Faulty factories and a speaking Starmer

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  Afternoon all, I’m down in Cornwall for a wedding so train strikes are rather dominating the updates on who has/hasn’t made it. It’s like a (lower than normal consequence) game of Russian roulette, but that’s preferable to being back in Westminster watching ministers manufacture outrage at the shock news that workers might not love … Continued

Catching up with the English, and overtaking the Yanks

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Afternoon all, Today is a good day, because today is a sweat-free day. And it’s been a good week if you’re Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss – or at least it probably feels like it has, given that Tory MPs have given them the golden tickets into the run-off to be our next Prime Minister. … Continued

Five lessons for the Conservative leadership candidates

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Afternoon all, How huge should tax cuts be is the one and only big debate in the Conservative leadership contest so far. No, wait a second, there’s also the one about who can use which toilet. So that’s the big challenges facing the country sorted… But the contest still has almost two months to run … Continued

Straight talking on tax cuts

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The Conservative Party got rid of Boris Johnson because once too often he just wasn’t straight with them or the public. But the danger now is that the leadership election that is meant to help the Party and country move on fails the very same straight-talking test, given the sheer scale of tax cut promises … Continued

How to tempt Tory votes and budding businesses

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Afternoon all, Well that wasn’t the week I was expecting. In so many ways. I briefly thought the importance of policy/decision taking continuity lay behind my seven year old’s surprisingly strong view this morning that Boris Johnson must stay as PM until a successor’s in place. But detailed probing about his constitutional opinions revealed a … Continued

Try your hand at levelling up the country

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Afternoon all, Another great week for persuading the kids that politics is a serious business. Putin’s advising the PM to drink less to reduce his weight, and (presumably?) the PM’s wishing his MPs would drink less to reduce their resignation rates. Basically, British politicians should keep their hands off other people’s bodies, and Russian leaders … Continued

The long struggle to count people, properties and prices properly

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Afternoon all, Nature is healing. Just as flora and fauna nature returned to Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster, so the Lib Dems are re-emerging in the South West after their 2015 meltdown. The scale of the swing towards them yesterday in Tiverton is obviously a by-election special, but it reflects a wider trend of the region swinging … Continued

Putting the heat on housing, and pouring cold water on levelling up

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Afternoon all, The thing about 2022 is it always surprises you. This time last year no-one saw double digit inflation and rapid rate rises coming, and I for one did not see the PM’s ethics advisor resigning over… tariffs on Chinese steel. But you live and learn. Maybe for some people consistency with WTO rules really … Continued

Empty offices and living standards struggles on Mars

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Afternoon all, Sorry to miss you all last week, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a week checked out from British economics/politics was very pleasant indeed. Flying back from Greece on Monday was suspiciously smooth so I’d largely discounted all the headlines about British transport/political chaos. But we landed just as four-in-ten … Continued

Socialist Sunak, gaping gaps and wonderful wages

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Afternoon all, You’re all hybrid working and the PM’s into what you’d politely call the ‘hybrid truth’. Fed up with being left out, I’ve gone for a hybrid TOTCs this week: a swift special on yesterday’s energy bills support package and then a few quickfire reads to get you through the gaps in your Jubilee … Continued

Pandemic parties, striking students and democratic deals

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Afternoon all, You know what the police need? Some economists. The Met have apparently spent £460,000 on their partygate investigation (to bring in fines of £12,600) – god knows how, given the British press did the evidence gathering for them. How much can it cost to show a suspect the front page of the Mirror … Continued

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