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Prime, Policy Research in Macroeconomics

Who Pays the Corporate Income Tax? Don’t believe the IFS

 The AssertionEven before Corbyn launched the Labour Manifesto, the Institute of Fiscal Studies launched its critique of Labour tax policies, asserting that Labour’s proposed tax increases were not limited to the richest,:"The truth is of course that in the end corporation tax is paid by workers, customers or shareholders so would affect many in the population".  On the BBC Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell politely rejected the IFS critique, which in essence asserts that the...

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Rethinking Britain: the fundamental choice we face on December 12th

At stake in December’s General Election in December is much more than just Brexit, though Brexit in the form proposed would be damaging enough.  It is a fundamental choice of the kind of society we want to develop.  In September, “Rethinking Britain: Policy Ideas for the Many”, was published, of which I was co-editor. The book brings together the...

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Universal Basic Income and Universal Basic Services: a synthesis for the Election

Complements or substitutes?Over the summer in OurEconomy my PEF colleague Guy Standing argued that proposals for Universal Public Services (UBS) are not substitutes for the Universal Basic Income (UBI) that he has advocated so cogently.  I strongly agree.  The two are overwhelmingly complementary.  As we approach a UK general election on 12 December and the parties prepare their manifestos, revisiting the UBS and UBI becomes quite relevant. Review of two public policy...

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Its new report blocked – so is the Office for Budget Responsibility really independent?

Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill has in our view acted unlawfully in ‘advising’ or ‘ordering’ the Office for Budget Responsibility not to publish its report on technical changes in relation to its March 2019 fiscal and economic forecast, due out today.  By giving way, the OBR has helped to undermine its own independence. The only winner is the...

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GDP: origin, uses and abuses

Origins of National Income From the ultra pro-business World Economic Forum to the progressive “thinktank” New Economics Foundation, we find a growing consensus that the standard measure of economic performance, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), needs replacement.  Its failure to adequately measure welfare or well being appears as a common threat in the critique of GDP (treated in detail in the 2009 study from Boston University), a theme repeated in the media.  More broadly, some...

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The Great Brexit Wrench

The Progressive Economy Forum today launched its new report, “The Great Brexit Wrench”, on the economic and political implications of Brexit. The report is by PRIME’s co-director Jeremy Smith, and looks at the background to and implications of Brexit from many different angles. It argues that there is no form of Brexit which will have a positive...

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The Pope, Quincy Jones, Bono, Willie Colón – and the burden of sovereign debt.

On the eve of the 2019 annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, we are once again alerted to a rise in the debt burdens of low-income countries. Last year the total external debt of both low- and middle-income countries climbed 5.3 percent to $7.8 trillion, while net debt flows (gross disbursements minus principal payments) from external creditors tumbled 28 percent to $529 billion, according to the World Bank’s International Debt Statistics.  In other words debt burdens...

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The non-existence of society and the ideology of neoclassical economics

In the United Kingdom we face the imminent likelihood of an election in which the political choices before voters will be in clear focus, remaining within the European Union or leaving (perhaps under disastrous conditions); social democracy or deregulated capitalism; saving the environment or further destruction of it; parliamentary democracy or authoritarianism. In the context of these momentous decisions, and with Parliament prorogued again, we should reflect on a still...

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The End of Super Imperialism?

T Sabri Öncü ([email protected]) is an economist based in İstanbul, Turkey. This article was first published in the Indian journal the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on 28 September 2019.Summary: With intensifying concerns regarding the soundness and stability of the international monetary and financial system, calls for reforming it have been on the rise. One recent call was made by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, in August 2019, in which he suggested a...

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