Insights

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Debating the UK budget

General Policy

Geoffrey Norris
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The 2020 UK budget was a major shakeup of the presentational landscape around the UK’s public finances. By adopting more public spending, and more borrowing to pay for it, the Conservatives have muscled in on Labour’s territory, rendering the opposition’s favourite dividing line moot.

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Realising the future of urban mobility

General Policy

Stephen Adams
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Alongside our recent report produced with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Practice Lead Alex Dawson, Adviser Leo Ringer and Senior Director Stephen Adams discuss the challenge of how we make sure people use cars in a more efficient, cleaner, cheaper, smarter way, leading to greater use of public and active transport.

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Cars in the City: Realising the future of urban mobility

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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As technology changes every aspect of our economy and society, policymakers across local and national government have set out visions of how they want urban transport to be revolutionised: clean, green vehicles, with significant uptake of public transport and active modes like walking and cycling.

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British business: political piggy bank?

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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In October 2016, UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond was reportedly considering slashing the UK’s Corporation Tax rate to 10%, as part of creating a low-tax post-Brexit UK economy. Tonight, he will warn us that “everyone will need to pay more” to fund Britain’s future. In particular, figures from across the political spectrum are eyeing corporation tax increases as a way to…

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Foreign Investment: Rising Tides of Politics in Regulation

Financial Services

Stephen Adams
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Recent years have seen important global shifts in both the policy frameworks for screening inward foreign investment and the way in which they are applied. These shifts come against a backdrop of protectionist political rhetoric and anxieties about the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in traditionally open economies. The new landscape is exemplified by the…

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General Politics

The “cost” of Labour’s nationalisation agenda

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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The nationalisation of several utilities and rail franchises is a key plank of the UK Labour Party’s policy platform. To the dismay of implicated business leaders, it is also relatively popular, according both to the 2017 general election result and to separate polling. But how much would it cost - is Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell right to claim, as he did in a speech…

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UK tuition fees: balancing the costs

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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The UK debate about tuition fees for university students can be seen as a triangulation of three sets of costs – private (to the graduate), public (to the taxpayer) and political (to the policymaker). The allocation of cost between the three actors has always been uneasy, and when the tension becomes unsustainable, change follows. The balance is once again shifting – the…

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General Politics

Britain’s higher tax future?

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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Tax rises are now back in the centre ground of the UK economic discourse, in a way they have not been for at least a decade. This shift should put businesses and investors on notice - the era in which they could safely assume an ever-friendlier approach to taxation may be at an end.

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Trump races to the bottom with dynamic models

Financial Services

Leo Ringer
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The NASDAQ reached an all-time high yesterday as Donald Trump announced he wants to more than halve the US corporation tax rate, from 35% to 15%. But he knows that doing so comes with a big price tag – one that, in the context of a fraught debate about the US national debt and deficit, is an almost impossible sell to Congress. The solution? Dynamic modelling: counting the…

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Dear Donald, love Mark

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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Mark Carney knows that the Financial Stability Board, the global financial regulator he chairs, needs the US on board. And he knows that the Trump administration is facing pressure to abandon ship. These facts explain the thrust of his letter to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors ahead of this weekend’s summit in Baden, Germany. It is an almost explicit…

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Why Theresa May might not worry about foreign takeovers

Financial Services

Leo Ringer
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Today SoftBank, new owners of UK tech jewel ARM Holdings, sold a 25% stake in the business just nine months after acquiring the chipmaker. Though the UK government is committed to ending short-termism in company governance and stewardship, and addressing the power of ‘foreign’ takeovers of British companies, the move apparently sounded no more alarm bells than did the…

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Carney on fintech: quid pro quo

Financial Services

Leo Ringer
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Yesterday in Wiesbaden, Bank of England Governor and Financial Stability Board (FSB) Chair Mark Carney gave the clearest articulation yet of how financial regulators are weighing the future of fintech. While at pains to predict a “shining future” for financial disruption, he put both innovators and incumbents on notice. The speech gave us three clues about what he and the…

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General Politics

Carney and Bloomberg’s climate competent market

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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This week saw Mark Carney and Michael Bloomberg launch the second phase of the work of the G20 Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The report sets out a comprehensive framework to help a range of companies, from asset managers to the extractives industries, explain the potential impacts of climate change – and the efforts…

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The power of procedure: how might the UK parliament shape Brexit?

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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A contest for control of the Brexit process is playing out between the government and parliament in the UK. The complex, opaque rules of parliamentary procedure have suddenly become central to the ability of either side to dictate the tempo and content of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Understanding these rules is key to understanding whether and how parliament can…

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General Politics

Offshore Britain?

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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According to one major newspaper, the UK Government is developing a “nuclear” Brexit negotiating threat in the form of a corporation tax cut to 10%. The logic goes that the prospect of an aggressively low-tax “offshore” UK on the doorstep would scare the EU into accommodating British preferences for the future UK-EU relationship. But as with all nuclear deterrents, the…

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The 100,000 person question

General Policy

Leo Ringer
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Immigration is the simmering political issue at the heart of Brexit. Much of the debate has focused on how far the UK can reclaim control of EU migration into the UK, while retaining some form of participation in, or preferential access to, the single market. But what if we assume that full migration policy is back in the hands of the UK government. How does it meet…

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General Politics

EU tuition fees post-Brexit: feast or famine?

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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In a week when a UK university, Oxford, was crowned the best in the world, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Brexit gives the British higher education sector a lot to chew on. The potential loss of research funding and restricted access to top EU talent are headline concerns, but here’s a different question: what happens once EU students become classified as …

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General Politics

Litmus test: the UK obesity strategy and government intervention

General Politics

Leo Ringer
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On school exam results day, in mid-August, while politicians relax on holiday and the Olympic Games dominates headlines, the UK Government has published its long-awaited strategy for tackling childhood obesity. The eyebrow-raising timing is explained by the fact that the majority of the more muscular interventions under discussion, and long hoped for by the health…

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