… or at least, that may be how things look soon if inflation continues doing what it has just done – rise faster than expected. Because while my original points about base effects and so on are correct, it is no good if the actual index rises 0.6 points in a month like this. Perhaps the VAT rise has a delayed effect. Prices are up 0.8% since December, while VAT rose over that period by 2.5%. But perhaps instead the economy is stronger than I expected, deflation is unlikely, and I will lose my bet with Guido.
Who is interesting and generous here about Liberal Democrat MP’s:
As Tories scream and point to Lib-Lab councils and the bearded sandal wearing activists who want to ban the bomb and legalise dope for purchase in euros, Guido says look at the reality. Since Charlie Kennedy’s demise the LibDems have been moving quietly to the right on economics, have jettisoned a lot of their loopiest policies and the Tories under Cameron have moved towards the LibDems on civil liberties, the environment and localism
(whereas Redwood is typically hysterical about 3.4% inflation here. Coming of age during the 1970s seems to play havoc with your sense of proportion. Chris Giles is more nuanced here: “A little more equivocation and is once again likely. Sadly, it appears no longer a time for complacency over inflation.”
And Conway’s take is always worth reading – though I think he is wrong about how easily our debt costs could rise. Because of long maturity funding, a 200bps rise in funding costs would not be drastic, since we don’t need to refinance soon. )
Being wrong part II: I thought following Odone’s nastiness yesterday that I could casually wander over to the Telegraph and pick up more examples of that sort of thing. But no. Here is Tracy Corrigan in a very forthright post about why she can’t vote for Cameron:
The fact that Clegg appears to address others as equals suggests either that he is naturally personable or, at least in this matter, politically adept. That is quite an important skill in a political leader, and neither of the other two have it.
And here is Mary Riddell:
The one certainty of this election is that the case for electoral reform will be irrefutable. If Labour end up ahead, they may have to accelerate the plans for an AV system and House of Lords reform. That might (just) satisfy the LibDems, and the country. But Mr Cameron’s only promise of change is to cut the number of MPs, which would make the first-past-the-post system even more unfair than it is now. Nor has he any plans to oust the last of the hereditary peers. That makes the Tories not the party of change but of stasis.
Something else I am wrong about: listen to the first 5 minutes of this podcast and you learn that all three parties pay pretty serious lip service to the mistaken idea that a transactions tax is what is needed to fix finance. They are confronted with a Robin Hood Tax campaigner who does not seem to see any serious implications from trying to raise $400bn annually from the seriously undercapitalised banking sector, and none have the courage to be remotely analytical about it.
But here finally is something I feel right about. Marriage is not the reason children do better in married households. That was put clumsily – read the original. It adds even more fuel to a sceptical fire burning under the Tories’ marriage tax proposals. Here is the essence:
there are differences in development between children born to married and cohabiting couples, but this reflects differences in the sort of parents who decide to get married rather than to cohabit. For example, compared to parents who are cohabiting when their child is born, married parents are more educated, have a higher household income, and a higher occupational status, and experience a higher relationship quality early in the child’s life. It is these and other similar factors that seem to lead to better outcomes for their children.
Good to get some things right