Wonk Wars: The Rankings

ComRes have today revealed their rank bank of think tanks, assessing where the esteemed establishments rank among MPs of different parties. Their bi-annual survey of MPs has found that the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute of Economic Affairs come out on top among Tory MPs, with 65% and 59% of Tory MPs respectively endorsing them for their ‘high quality output’. Free market ideas still rule the roost, despite the leanings of the current party leadership…

Additionally, 39% of Conservative MPs say the CPS is one of the most influential think tanks, with the IEA nearest on 35%. The Centre for Social Justice, Institute for Fiscal Studies and The Taxpayers’ Alliance follow closely behind to round out the top five. The CPS are by far the biggest climbers with a sizable 13% jump, testament to their recent star hires

Labour MPs liked the IPPR best, with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and IFS falling in behind. On an overall cross-party basis, the top five most influential wonks were the IFS (37%), followed by the JRF (30%), Chatham House (28%), the IEA (28%), and the CPS (24%).

Oddly, the Adam Smith Institute wasn’t included in the list for MPs to choose from, despite some big policy wins this year. Guido hears the CPS has sportingly called on ComRes to include the ASI next time round…

Read the report in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 5 March 2019 @ 16:45 5 Mar 2019 @ 16:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CPS Propose ‘Universal Working Income’ to Take Poorest 2.4 Million out of Paying Tax

The Centre for Policy Studies launched their new policy agenda at a snazzy reception with the Prime Minister last night. The first report in the agenda is entitled ‘Make Work Pay’ and suggests a simple change to the UK’s currently ludicrously complicated tax structure.

The CPS’s ‘Universal Working Income’ would see everyone keep the first £1,000 they earn each month entirely tax-free – taking the lowest paid 2.4 million people out of paying both Income Tax and National Insurance altogether. It would be a progressive tax cut, with the poorest seeing the biggest benefits:

It would also be a hugely popular policy – CPS polling reveals it is supported by more than three quarters of the electorate…

mdi-timer 6 November 2018 @ 15:02 6 Nov 2018 @ 15:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CPS Claim ‘Cost-Neutral’ Policy Will Create One Million Homeowners

The Centre for Policy Studies has come up with a novel proposal which they say could see one million more people become homeowners in one year. ‘Help to Own’ aims to make it easier for ‘Generation Rent’ to buy while also incentivising landlords to sell to their tenants by introducing a scheme for a single year that would pool capital gains tax receipts on the sale of rented homes in order to then grant them back as rebates to landlords and tenants.

33% of each rebate would go to the landlord while 66% would go towards the deposit of the purchasing tenant. The CPS have crunched the numbers and say the net effect would be to increase revenue to the Treasury, while the tenant would only need to stump up the cash for 3.33% of the property upfront, with the capital gains rebate making up the rest of the 10% deposit they need to get on the property ladder. Like ‘Right to Buy’, ‘Help to Own’ could be a game changer in granting people a tangible stake in the economy, all at no extra cost to taxpayers…

mdi-timer 15 October 2018 @ 12:16 15 Oct 2018 @ 12:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Truss: Fund Spending Plans With Cuts Not Taxes

The Truss / Gove banter last night has been blown out of all proportion, with one headline about the story actually reading: “Tory Cabinet Falls Into Open Warfare”. It was a joke about Gove rhyming with stove. Believe it or not, there are more important Cabinet splits than this one…

The row has distracted from the more interesting contents of the Truss speech, which was as sound an intervention as you are ever going to get from a minister in a Theresa May government. You can read it in full here. One interesting line was her endorsement for the Centre for Policy Studies’ campaign to fund the government’s spending plans with cuts rather than tax rises. She wants MPs to attend a series of meetings to make proposals for cuts to waste and low value areas of spending, to be published by the CPS at Tory party conference.

“The more government spends, the higher taxes have to be… higher tax means less money for me to decide when to go on holiday or buy a new car… there are many ageing countries with advanced economies that do not have high tax and spend… Canada, after the misconceived expansionist years in the 1960s, when they raised taxes and nationalised businesses…rescued their economy in the 90s by cutting spending and balancing the budget… All across the world, countries are addressing their problems not simply by raising tax and spend, but by reshaping and reinventing themselves… Some of my colleagues are not being clear about the tax implications of their proposed higher spending… I want to take a zero-based, zero-tolerance approach to wasteful spend. We need to take a look at ourselves and think “what is the best way to use the money entrusted to us?” We have to make every pound pull its weight. We have to make every pound pull its weight.”

It is all too rare these days that any Tory makes these noises. It is the polar opposite of Number 10’s approach, and far more interesting than the Gove bluster. At least one leadership candidate will be backing lower taxes next time round…

mdi-timer 27 June 2018 @ 13:42 27 Jun 2018 @ 13:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CPS Warns May Against NHS Tax Rise

Following Guido’s report that Number 10 is considering a possible NHS tax or general tax rise to fund new health spending, the Centre for Policy Studies has written to Tory MPs warning them against the idea. The CPS is calling for reform rather than throwing money at the problem, and funding through economic growth not tax rises:

Depressing that this even has to be said. There is not much conservative about the Conservatives at the moment.

mdi-timer 6 June 2018 @ 18:17 6 Jun 2018 @ 18:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Will the Young Still Grow into Old Tories?

Who Would You NEVER Vote For?

The Centre for Policy Studies is trying to convert the young away from socialism and fix “the urgent need for the Conservative Party to make the case for its values and principles to the younger generation”.  What Guido noticed in their pamphlet was the party people say they would never vote for. No surprises, antipathy to the Tories halves as the decades pass – and the number for whom voting Labour becomes anathema triples. It echoes that ever-contested quote: “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” Perhaps the age brackets are out of date…

Stephen Bush argued in the New Statesman that “this time it is different” and as people get older their values won’t change, they will basically stay socially liberal and keep voting Labour. An argument that has been made since the 1960s and it still hasn’t stopped the centre-right governing for most of the last half-century in most of the West. He could be right about the future, however it is the populists who are hoovering up support from socially conservative types intolerant of minorities. Conventional centre-right conservative parties are already socially liberal in most Western democracies.

David Aaronovitch, Emily Thornberry and others argue that the “Brexit generation” are dying out. Demographics suggest otherwise, people are living longer and voting for right-of-centre parties for longer. Their numbers will be refreshed, just as they have throughout the last century, as younger Labour voters become parents and homeowners. That is so long as the Tories fix the housing affordability problem…

mdi-timer 15 May 2018 @ 16:34 15 May 2018 @ 16:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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