Kate Andrews is Spectator’s New Economics Correspondent

Fraser Nelson has lured Kate Andrews from the Institute of Economic Affairs to become the Spectator’s economics correspondent. He wants her to produce economic stories rooted in fact. If as Guido suspects we are about to enter into an era of big spending, big government under the Tories, it is a shrewd move for the Tory house journal to have an economic critique rooted in free market thinking. Fraser has always had a penchant for charts and data so Kate will have to brush up her spreadsheet skills. Her years at the IEA, and before that the ASI, articulating the case for free markets in studios and on Question Time panels has been impressive…

mdi-timer 20th November 2019 @ 12:57 pm 20th Nov 2019 @ 12:57 pm mdi-comment Comments
Top Wonks Back Fiscal Phil’s Budget Responsibility Pledge

Philip Hammond’s fiscal responsibility challenge might not be the most exciting intervention in the Tory leadership race but it has received a warm welcome from many of Westminster’s top think tanks. The Institute of Economic Affairs’ Kate Andrews says:

“The Chancellor has dished out a fair and sensible warning to leadership candidates. Slashing tax and spending increases must go hand-in-hand with cuts in other areas and a radical pro-growth agenda, otherwise they are not fiscally responsible policies…

“With the UK tax burden at a near-fifty year high, putting more money back in people’s wallets should be a top priority, but it shouldn’t mean abandoning fiscal responsibility along the way.”

The Adam Smith Institute’s Matt Kilcoyne welcomes the move too:

“Right message at the right time from the Chancellor. As we approach the Cost of Government Day on the 18th June, the first day of the year that private spending overtakes all the spending and borrowing the government does on your behalf, it’s good to see a Conservative preaching fiscal responsibility.

“The UK still has a deficit, a mountain of debt, and government is still passing the buck onto those too young to vote. The next generation shouldn’t be sold out with election pledges made at the expense of their own futures.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance also give it their seal of approval:

“Philip Hammond is right that a Tory leadership battle isn’t the place for a public spending arms race. A spending spree by the current, or next Prime Minister could leave taxpayers saddled with bills.”

As far as Guido is aware, none of the candidates have committed to Phil’s fiscal responsibility pledge so far. Nor has the current Prime Minister shown any hint of reconsidering her uncosted trillion pound black hole she’s leaving behind for her successor…

UPDATE: It turns out Phil’s Pledge has been taken by the most left-wing candidate in the race, Rory Stewart. If Rory can find time out from his never-ending walks around supermarket car parks to make the pledge, why can’t any of his supposedly more Conservative rivals?

mdi-timer 14th June 2019 @ 4:34 pm 14th Jun 2019 @ 4:34 pm mdi-comment Comments
IEA Staff Changes

Wonk world transfer news: the Institute of Economic Affairs is making some staff changes. Nerissa Chesterfield is being promoted to the role of Head of Comms from the role as Comms Officer following Steph Lis moving to work for Dominic Raab. Nerissa previously worked at Vote Leave and Business for Britain. Kate Andrews has been appointed as the IEA’s Associate Director, overseeing communications, digital outreach, public affairs, and the FREER initiative. Kate has served as News Editor of the IEA for the past two and a half years.  Big promotion for 28 year-old Kate Andrews…

mdi-timer 3rd September 2018 @ 12:41 pm 3rd Sep 2018 @ 12:41 pm mdi-comment Comments
Stella v Kate Andrews on Gender Pay

This Sky debate between Stella Creasy and the IEA’s Kate Andrews, and the ensuing Twitter spat, is quite something. Kate noted that conflating equal pay with the gender pay gap is problematic, and criticised the attempt to piggyback on the #MeToo campaign. Stella did not take it well, wrongly demanding Kate apologise for “misquoting” the ONS:

Kate responded, proving her own claims and debunking Stella’s:

With no meaningful comeback, Stella instead blocked Kate, going on to tweet that she had been “brainwashed” and, bizarrely, that Kate had mocked her disability (she hadn’t). As anyone who has ever interacted with Stella on Twitter knows, she really doesn’t like being proved wrong…

mdi-timer 3rd April 2018 @ 5:50 pm 3rd Apr 2018 @ 5:50 pm mdi-comment Comments
IEA’s Kate Andrews Schools Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry on Swiss Health System

As Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry blindly defended the NHS despite being confronted with dire statistics on its health outcomes, Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs made a compelling case for reform on This Week. Soubs and Johnson showing politicians see the NHS as a religion as they treated Kate’s sensible suggestions as heresy… 

mdi-timer 9th February 2018 @ 11:11 am 9th Feb 2018 @ 11:11 am mdi-comment Comments
Tory MPs and Think Tanks Pan May Announcements

Conference has barely begun and Tory MPs and right-leaning think tanks and pundits are already kicking off about Theresa May’s announcements on tuition fees and Help to Buy.

Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs:

“The Prime Minister is right to address the plights of young people leading up to Conservative Party Conference, but pledging over £10billion worth of uncosted policies will only burden them more down the road, as they face an increasing national debt and – inevitably – higher taxes. While May plans to temporarily put a bit more cash back in the pockets of young graduates, the party must acknowledge that the current university funding system – and lack of competition within it – needs a complete overhaul if student debt is to be tackled. Propping up the Help to Buy scheme only distorts the housing market more, which is already in a perpetual state of crisis. If May is serious about getting young people on the housing ladder, the answer is clear: liberalise the housing market and build more homes.”

Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute:

“Reviving Help to Buy is like throwing petrol onto a bonfire. The property market is totally dysfunctional because supply is so tightly constrained by planning rules, and adding more demand without improving the supply of houses is just going to raise house prices and make homes more unaffordable for people who don’t qualify for the Help to Buy subsidy… Reviving Help to Buy is an astonishingly ill-judged move that may prove economically and politically disastrous for the government.”

The view from ConHome and Unherd:

MPs Guido has spoken to are wondering why May has chosen to engage on Corbyn’s territory with policies that are just Labour-lite. Colleagues are asking why there are no ambitious announcements on house-building and student debt rather than this damp squib. Not to mention the £12 billion of unfunded spending. A lot of work to do on policy over the next few days…

UPDATE: The government’s side of the story articulated well by James Cleverly:

mdi-timer 1st October 2017 @ 1:24 pm 1st Oct 2017 @ 1:24 pm mdi-comment Comments
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