Tim Besley's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics and political science

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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
There is a strong argument for regional devolution in the UK. The mayoral model is not great (on the whole "Presidential politics" is a poor model). The property tax base should be devolved to regional parliaments but income tax variation should be minimal (and would be administratively complex). People, goods and capital are mobile across the UK so best to keep income tax, VAT and corporate taxes in the hands of national government. But full flexibility in relation to property taxes would make sense. There is a good case for devolving health, education, transport and infrastructure spending to regional governments. National priorites are welfare/pensions, defence, foreign policy, and science should stay with the Westminster parliament along with most forms of regulation and competition policy.

Question 2: Do you agree that that there is a clear economic case for establishing "English votes for English laws" with the same tax and spending powers as the Scottish Parliament?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
But the devil is in the details. This needs institutional reform -- regional parliaments (5-8 would be a sensible number) would be my preference rather than having a two-tier Westminster parliament. City regions makes little sense unless the core governance is regional parliaments.

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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident

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

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:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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