The rural economy: beyond farms and cattle?

While many of us wish we could trade our grey metropolis office for a stunning countryside view, the practicalities of doing so have always seemed out of reach. The traditional perception of the rural economy is one dominated by farming and forestry; an avenue for higher productivity, innovation and investment into a diverse range ofRead more

Industrial Strategy: big vision and Grand Challenges but does the policy match the ambition?

It was long (nearly 250 pages), at times repetitive and much of the content was either announced at the Budget or is a restatement of existing policies or strategies. But the Government’s long awaited Industrial Strategy was nevertheless one of the most significant documents published by Theresa May’s Government to date. This is, first andRead more

Austerity economics? The rhetoric and reality of public spending after the election

Earlier this week Westminster Advisers were delighted to host a breakfast event with Chris Giles, the Financial Times’ Economics Editor, to consider the reality behind the political rhetoric on public spending and fiscal policy. With the election now just six weeks away, the two main parties’ campaigns are increasingly focusing on the central issue ofRead more

The Age of George

As the dust begins to settle on last week’s Budget, the Chancellor will be pleased that, so close to the election, there hasn’t been a major unravelling of his proposed measures. Supported by a range of good economic news, including a further fall in unemployment and an uprating in expected growth in 2015, the ChancellorRead more

What makes good public affairs this year?

We were delighted to co-host an event with ComRes today on what the polls are telling us, and what it means for public affairs.  ComRes took everyone through the latest predictions on the general election outcome, and I gave a presentation on what we at Westminster Advisers think good public affairs looks like this year. Read more

Balls’ dividing lines

On Saturday Ed Balls gave a keynote speech on the economy to the Fabian Society.  The speech is much more than just the 50p tax rate commitment: it’s a more detailed run through of Balls’ priorities and thinking than we’ve had for quite some time, possibly since he became Shadow Chancellor. What is interesting aboutRead more

The political year ahead: WA report on the main political issues of 2014

We’ve published a report, The Political Year Ahead, which covers the main political issues facing in 2014.  You’ll be able to find it through this link. This year is the year of political risk. The May European and local elections, September’s Scottish Independence Referendum, key questions about the economy and living standards and the possibility of anotherRead more

Conservative Conference: George goes long

Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze announcement, the centre-piece of his conference address last week, has provided Conservative strategists with a dilemma. Despite the concerns and potential flaws in the policy (which commentators and various industry figures have been quick to highlight), a commitment to freezing energy prices has a popular appeal and is something votersRead more