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

Voting history

Assisting Households Facing Rising Energy Costs

Question 3: Should a windfall tax be used to (fully or partially) finance support to households?

Answer:
Yes
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The windfall gains are a rent and rents like this are taxable. This leaves the issue of what to do if there are windfall losses in the future.

Question 1: Overall, which of the following best characterises how the government’s proposed energy policies will leave the average UK household over the medium term:

Answer:
Better off
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
This is a short-term measure to deal with the gas price rise caused by the attack on Ukraine. It was made worse by the decision to stop storing gas which removed an important price buffer. It should have been better targeted. The current crisis is partly self-induced due to the failure to replace fossil fuels in the premature dash to a zero carbon economy. We still don't have a long-term solution.

Levelling Up Productivity Gaps in the UK

Question 1: What is the primary factor driving regional productivity disparities in the UK?

Answer:
Transportation and connectivity
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Clearly all contribute. And different areas have different primary factors. In York, where I live, as in the rest of Yorkshire and Humber, poor transportation and roads are a major factor. There is still no dual carriageway to Scotland from the Newcastle. The same is true of roads connecting Sheffield to Manchester. And rail is even worse across the north.

Prospects for UK Economic Growth

Question 2: What is the most important contribution economic policymakers can make growth in the UK over the next decade? 

Answer:
Other or don't know
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Policymakers can't do much to improve growth in the next decade. To enhance growth they need to stop interfering in the economy and instead encourage private enterprise. This will be challenged by those who see the role of government as leveling up incomes. Leveling up should be confined to public infrastructure projects, especially in the North, and not income transfers.

Question 1: How do you see prospects for future (per capita) GDP growth in the UK in the next decade?

Answer:
Low growth because of worldwide structural challenges
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Growth rates are difficult to predict. Long-run growth is mainly due to supply side factors. Except in the short run, growth has little to do with demand or stabilisation policy. Currently the UK is facing stagflation due to worldwide factors. The experience of the 1970's shows that it is better to take a short-term hit to growth to control inflation than to try to sustain demand in the face of a big supply shock. This is a lesson that seems to have been forgotten.

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