Phil ‘Bullseye’ Hammond told MPs what they ‘could’ve won’ – if only they didn’t stuff up Brexit

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Public Finances and the Economy

Last night Parliamentarians went all Noel Edmonds as they debated deal or no deal. But earlier in the day it was the late, great Jim Bowen of Bullseye fame that the Chancellor was channelling in his Spring Statement, setting out just what MP’s “could’ve won” – or might still win – if they back a … Continued

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Hitting the books: student loans and the public finances

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Public Finances and the Economy

With everything that’s going on in British politics right now, it’s easy to forget that the government was celebrating some seriously good news just seven weeks ago. You might remember that the Chancellor got handed a £74 billion fiscal windfall at the Budget that allowed him to deliver the long-promised extra spending on the NHS … Continued

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Pessimism, Politics and Economics: the real Budget story

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Public Finances and the Economy

Debates following this week’s Budget have been dominated by political arguments about whether the Chancellor’s spending splurge means that austerity had been ended or lives on (our view: austerity was significantly eased but not ended). But another debate has been conspicuously absent this week, having dominated the UK’s political economy for the past eight years: … Continued

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The Budget marks a very significant easing – but not an end of austerity

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Public Finances and the Economy

Marriages require compromise. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the reluctant political marriage between Theresa May and Phillip Hammond has delivered a compromise Budget. Caught between the Prime Ministers promise to “end austerity”, the wish to see debt falling, and the reality of the parliamentary arithmetic making significant tax rises difficult the Chancellor has taken … Continued

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