Michael Wickens's picture
Affiliation: 
Cardiff Business School & University of York
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Devolving Income Tax Powers within the UK

Question 1: Do you agree that the economic benefits of devolving full income tax powers to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly outweigh the possible costs?

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Income tax in the UK pays for more than just the expenditures on the items under consideration such as welfare, health and education. There are also pure public goods to fund for the whole UK. As noted in the brief, in any devolution there is a real danger of expenditures exceeding revenues and hence a build up of debt in Scotland and Wales that they might well be forced either to default on seek bailout from the rest of the UK. This danger is real because it seems that the main reason why Scotland wants such devolution is in order to spend much more than at present.

Secular Stagnation

Question 2: Do you think that current structural and fiscal policies should place a considerably greater emphasis on pushing the natural rate into positive territory?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The natural rate is positive irrespective of policy. The question should be about the real interest rate. In the US and UK there is no need for a policy stimulus. The main problem area is the eurozone. Many of these countries need a money financed fiscal stimulus but this is not possible given the constraints on the ECB.

Question 1: Do you agree- making your own definition of secular stagnation clear if you disagree with that offered here- that it is more likely than not that the advanced Western economies have entered into a period of secular stagnation?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The US and the UK are growing again and so aren't stagnating. Eurozone countries are stagnating due to the constraints imposed by being in a currency union.

Migration and the UK economy August 2014

Question 2: Do you agree that current government policies with respect to non-EU migration (including policies on students, skilled workers, and family migration) are effective in maximizing the gains to the economy from migration while minimizing any possible negative impact to specific groups?

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The issue is social rather than economic. Large parts of the UK are becoming unrecognisable as a result of many years of lax migration policies and low cultural assimilation due to multi-culturalism. Priority should be given to the highly skilled. Assimilation is essential.

Question 1: Do you agree that migration to the UK can be expected to be beneficial for the average income of current UK inhabitants in the upcoming decade?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Migration that is in response to demand will increase both GDP and GDP per capita, but otherwise migration is likely to raise GDP but reduce GDP per capita and the average wage, especially in the medium term. Migration from the EU reflects its greater wage rigidity than the UK and hence the UK's greater ability to absorb increases in labour supply. More important for the UK than the average wage is the reduced standard of living due to much increased pressure on public services,benefits, the demand for housing and concreting over the countryside.

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