Daily Archives: January 24, 2011

Jim Pickard

Over the quiet New Year period I interviewed Grant Shapps, housing minister, who made an explicit warning about proposed changes to the mortgage market. The Financial Services Authority is carrying out a review of the industry which could result in much tighter lending criteria for home-buyers.

Now Richard Lambert, the outgoing director-general of the CBI, has made a similar warning in his parting speech today. He says: Read more >>

Jim Pickard

Former IFS head Robert Chote, in his new role as head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, is not supposed to cast judgment on government policy. But he comes pretty close in an FT interview today.

Chote appears to question whether the “fair fuel stabiliser”, which David Cameron has promised to examine, would actually work. (The policy was in the Tory manifesto but not in the coalition agreement). Cameron has never explicitly said the government would introduce the policy – the Treasury is examining it – but said recently that he wanted some way to share the pain of rising petrol prices. The stabiliser could smooth out price fluctuations by imposing a lower duty on oil/petrol when the price rises and a higher duty when the price falls. Read more >>