Nicholas Oulton's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Senior Visiting Research Fellow

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:
No opinion or other
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Since the government needs to raise more money anyway a windfall tax shouold not be ruled out permanently. But I do take seriously the argument about sending the wrong message to business.

Question 2: Which of the following is the best way to address the impact of rising energy costs on household finances?

Answer:
Uniform price caps
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
We are in an emergency so we need a scheme which works and doesn't unintentionally leave a lot of people unprotected (think the bedroom tax). The present scheme seems to fit the bill though no doubt given enough time and better computer systems a superior one could be devised.

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:
Very confident
Comment:
Obviously the average household is much better off this year with the cap than without any assistance at all. In the medium to long run there is a loss from the higher price of imported energy which someone has to pay. I think the cap is best thought of as a consumption-smoothing scheme which individuals would have found it difficult or impossible to replicate privately. So to the question, who pays for it?, the answer is future taxpayers in proportion roughly to their income since our tax system is progressive. So the scheme spreads out over time the inevitable loss from higher energy prices . If the current level of energy prices proves to be permanent then the scheme will eventually have to be phased out. But this seems too pessimistic.

Levelling Up Productivity Gaps in the UK

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

Answer:
Sorting
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Regional productivity disparities in the UK is all about London and the SE versus the rest. Agglomeration efects are present in all regions. But history explains the power of London to attract highly-skilled individals to move there to set up new firms and industries. A recent example is AI and fintech in the Shoreditch and Kings Cross areas.

The Impact of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on the UK Economy

Question 3: Relative to tax plans at the beginning of the year, the UK government should respond by:

Answer:
Cutting tax intake
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The additional supply shock generated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine should be combated by tighter monetary policy coupled with looser fiscal policy.

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