Economics & Social Policy

What is to be done with the British economy?

The UK needs a modern economic policy that is tailored to the opportunities and constraints of the contemporary international economy. In response to the economic shock of the Covid public health crisis and a decade of slow growth and economic stagnation it needs a confident and audacious policy of macro-economic management and supply-side reform.

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Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

This paper’s contribution to the housing policy debate is to outline the policies that are needed on the demand side. Too often, on the demand side, the Government’s policy interventions have resulted in higher house prices, exacerbating the challenge facing buyers. Now, there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty, says Gerard Lyons.

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Fiscal principles for the future

This paper calls for a pro-growth economic strategy as the best way to address Britain’s fiscal position.

Fiscal principles for the future is co-authored by Gerard Lyons, Graham Gudgin, Warwick Lightfoot and Jan Zeber.

Dr Gerard Lyons, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, said: “It is right to use fiscal policy as a shock absorber, to avoid premature tightening and to direct spending towards capital investment and public services. The main focus has to be on a pro-growth agenda, that reduces unemployment and allows the economy to recover.”

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Monetary response to the coronavirus crisis

This paper focuses on how central banks have responded since March to the Covid crisis, explores the discrete episodes such as the liquidity crisis in the Spring and the evidence of companies borrowing to accumulate cash and the equity price boom that has followed the huge injections of liquidity into the international financial system. It offers an impression of where policy makers are and the limits that central banks confront in a low interest rate environment where monetary policy has no more space left and is not effective.

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A labour market that works

The Government should give anyone without a job who wants to start a new business £100 a week for a year, says a new report from Policy Exchange – published a day after unemployment surged to the highest level in over three years.

A labour market that works argues for a new 2020 Enterprise Allowance, based on a successful scheme launched in the 1980s.

It is backed by Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham, architect of the original idea during the unemployment crisis of the 1980s, who warns: “it is highly probable that we shall shortly face the highest increase in unemployment ever known.”

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Why the Government should spend more on capital

This paper argues that the Government should spend more on capital investment. The case was already strong before the Covid-19 crisis and has been strengthened since, as its financing has become more affordable. The paper highlights the importance of taking advantage of the present macro-economic environment afforded by low borrowing costs to provide stable – and sizeable – funding for new infrastructure through an increase in capital spending by the public sector. Additional capital spending, in excess of the fiscal rules, would be sustainable and affordable

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Latest Economics & Social Policy Publications

What is to be done with the British economy?

What is to be done with the British economy?

The UK needs a modern economic policy that is tailored to the opportunities and constraints of the contemporary international economy. In response to the economic shock of the Covid public health crisis and a decade of slow growth and economic stagnation it needs a confident and audacious policy of macro-economic management and supply-side reform.

Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

Helping Generation Rent become Generation Buy: 

This paper’s contribution to the housing policy debate is to outline the policies that are needed on the demand side. Too often, on the demand side, the Government’s policy interventions have resulted in higher house prices, exacerbating the challenge facing buyers. Now, there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty, says Gerard Lyons.

Fiscal principles for the future

Fiscal principles for the future

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This paper calls for a pro-growth economic strategy as the best way to address Britain’s fiscal position.

Fiscal principles for the future is co-authored by Gerard Lyons, Graham Gudgin, Warwick Lightfoot and Jan Zeber.

Dr Gerard Lyons, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, said: “It is right to use fiscal policy as a shock absorber, to avoid premature tightening and to direct spending towards capital investment and public services. The main focus has to be on a pro-growth agenda, that reduces unemployment and allows the economy to recover.”

Latest Economics & Social Policy Blogs

Where next for Industrial Strategy?

Where next for Industrial Strategy?

“A pudding without a theme” was how Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, speaking in the House of Commons this week, described Theresa May’s 2017 industrial strategy. He had been asked by Greg Clark, who was in charge of what Mrs May had renamed the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), why the government had scrapped the strategy. Mr Kwarteng went on to say that the economy was in a very different state from what it had been in 2017, and that the government had “morphed” the old strategy into the new “plan for growth”.

Negative interest rates offer only a sugar high. They won’t revive monetary policy

Negative interest rates offer only a sugar high. They won’t revive monetary policy

Both Wall Street and the City of London are speculating whether the next innovation in monetary policy will be the use of negative interest rates as a deliberate tool. The new Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has changed the Bank’s position from that of the previous Governor, Mark Carney, who made clear that negative interest rates were not a proposition he was seriously considering. The central bank’s Chief Economist, Andrew Haldane, and one member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Silvana Tenreyro, have canvassed the idea.

Time to rethink macroeconomic policy

Time to rethink macroeconomic policy

A new Chancellor of the Exchequer and a new Governor of the Bank of England offer the opportunity of taking a fresh look at not just monetary policy, but macro-economic policy as a whole and the role of fiscal policy within it. A decade after the Great Recession, there are profound questions that policy makers should be exploring.

Latest Economics & Social Policy News

Latest Economics & Social Policy Events

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  • Wednesday, 26 June, 2019
    14:00 - 15:00

For more than 20 years, the funding of long-term social care has been recognised as a central challenge by successive governments. Arguments around it played a contentious part in the Conservative Party’s election campaign in 2017 – with the proposed solution earning the sobriquet “the Dementia Tax”. The difficulty that the present Government has had in mapping a practical way forward is reflected in the failure to publish the promised green paper. But Policy Exchange’s paper, 21st Century Social Care, provides an answer, arguing that the state should fund long-term social care and complete the welfare state, which polling shows has massive support.

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  • Wednesday, 12 June, 2019
    18:00 - 19:00

Josh Frydenberg was elected to the Australian Parliament in 2010 as the Member for Kooyong. He is the seventh person since Federation to hold this seat. In August 2018, he was appointed Treasurer of Australia and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, having previously served as Minister for the Environment and Energy, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Assistant Treasurer – and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister since the 2013 election.

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  • Monday, 26 November, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

Policy Exchange is… multidisciplinary, highly influential, a productive force in the heart of Westminster and our political system,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, at a Policy Exchange event with Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s Bagehot columnist, to launch their new book, Capitalism in America.

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  • Monday, 23 July, 2018
    17:00 - 18:30

Marking the launch of a new paper, Policy Exchange invites you to a panel discussion on “Is Britain’s Growth Model Broken – and Can Brexit Help to Fix It?” The paper’s author Dr Christopher Bickerton will introduce his research, followed by a panel discussion including the former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom

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  • Monday, 2 July, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as ‘the father of modern economics’ and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Jesse Norman MP’s book shows how, far from being a doctrinaire ‘libertarian’ or ‘neoliberal’ thinker, Smith offers an evolutionary theory of political economy, which balances the roles of markets and the state.

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  • Thursday, 28 June, 2018
    13:00 - 14:30

Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP and Brigadier John Deverell spoke on the strategic role of soft power, outlining how her vision for the future of UK development policy applies in the context of civilian–military cooperation, the interplay between hard and soft power, and the importance of development’s role alongside defence and diplomacy.

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  • Monday, 21 May, 2018
    8:30 - 15:45

Policy Exchange hosted a major conference considering the future of the Union, with keynote speeches from Ruth Davidson, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers. In bringing together speakers from different parties, different nations and opposite sides of the Brexit debate, we demonstrated that unionism can be the bridge between the different elements in our divided society.

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