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

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

Avoiding tax and confronting Government IT

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Afternoon all, The only people having a more expensive week than Downing Street staff are crypto investors – commiserations if you’re in either camp. The crypto crash is at least a reminder that it’s best to avoid ponzi schemes largely unregulated high-risk products. On reflection, avoiding people selling high-risk products in politics isn’t a bad rule of thumb either … Continued

Probing prices, dodging divorces and misogynistic men

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Afternoon all, Temperatures are on the up. So are interest rates. 2022 is all about monetary policy climate change sweeping advanced economies, with the Bank of England’s fourth hike in a row yesterday taking us to the heady heights of 1 per cent. I know we’re all desensitised to high inflation chat, but if their … Continued

Health expectancy, home economics and how surnames help with success

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Afternoon all, I’ve been across the Atlantic this week, but it’s been good to see you’ve all been trying really hard to maintain Britain’s reputation while I’m away. Explaining our porn-perusing politicians, or the fact our Social Mobility Commission chair (who obviously hasn’t met the Resolution team…) thinks girls can’t do “hard maths”, to Americans has … Continued

Good grades, bad news anchors and ugly urban motorways

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Afternoon all, Hope everyone had a decent Easter break. I’m a massive fan of this whole sun shining thing: Britain’s a good place to live. Unfortunately, our politics and economy haven’t quite got the Briton rocks message. The Queen’s 96th Birthday should have been a good time to celebrate ideas of public service and duty, … Continued

Non-dom data and flimsy forecasts

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Afternoon all, Yesterday the Government announced plans for eight new nuclear power stations. In the olden days this was big news; now it’s already off the bulletins. The news that’s actually gone nuclear is of course the Chancellor’s wife being a non-dom. That choice seems like madness from a political perspective – there are so few … Continued

Beating the French in the Minimum Wage World Cup

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Afternoon all,   All April Fools gags are rubbish, but today’s combination of temperatures plummeting as energy bills surge might be the worst yet. A new Resolution Foundation note shows the number of households in fuel stress (spending at least 10 per cent of their budgets on energy) will double to five million as a … Continued

Top of the Charts: Spring Statement special

Afternoon all, The (selfish) good news is that I’m ending this week Covid-free. The (rather more important) bad news is the Spring Statement, which goes in the ‘not fit for purpose’ bucket. Chunks of Government seem surprised by the universal kicking it’s had – spending over £10 billion on tax cuts usually buys you at … Continued

More hours and fewer doughnuts in modern Britain

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Morning all, Things are on the up, in the inflation, interest rates and Covid cases sense, making the lives of policy makers (not to mention actual people) a nightmare. It’s the central bankers turn this week. The Bank of England flipped from worrying about the recovery in the autumn to anxiety about surging inflation in … Continued

Smokers’ bonuses and the Italianification of UK millennials

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Afternoon all, Too much choice is a dangerous thing. Normally that doesn’t matter – I can get over being overwhelmed by browsing Netflix. But excessive choice over what to worry about in 2022 is a big problem – preventing policy makers concentrating on any given problem, or judging the relative importance of the tsunami of … Continued

Pandemic lessons on when to work, retire and pay the mortgage

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Morning all, The lives being lost, homes being destroyed and nightmare being lived in Ukraine are dominating all our thoughts. Even when the TV/radio is off it’s hard to think about anything else. And rightly so given how immediate and existential the dangers are. The implications for UK households are tiny in comparison, but substantial … Continued

Productivity lessons from California and Constable’s England

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Afternoon all, The idea that 2022 was going to offer a world, emerging from the pandemic, relief from dark times has not aged well. This week has been unremittingly grim. The violence Ukrainians have had to live with for eight years has sharply grown in breadth and depth, while our words, tears and sanctions are … Continued

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