Another interesting and challenging week in London! After some final editing of my article on the Barnett formula it was posted on the CPS blog on Friday. I argue that the UK parliament should be wary about the perverse incentives that arise out of fiscal transfers between different levels of government.
I advise that the best solution is to devolve fiscal autonomy to the home nations in the UK with a view to promoting responsible governmental expenditure and introduce fiscal competition between the home nations. This competition will encourage better and more efficient provision of services while avoiding the negative incentives associated with revenue and expenditure equalisation. I’m looking forward to getting to work on my next blog.
This week I was tasked with researching the major parties fiscal consolidation plans from the 2010 election, as well as comparing the IMF’s changing view on the fiscal austerity policies pursued by the government. In 2013 the IMF was less than impressed with the recovery results after the GFC. By the 2014 review, the praise was almost a complete turnaround from the year before.
I was also asked to attend a question time in the House of Commons where the MP’s were grilled over their plans for Brexit. While there was a lot of tit for tat exchanges, similar to the point scoring seen in the Australian Parliament, the government still refused to be drawn into the game of revealing its Brexit negotiation strategy.
I’ve been very lucky to have someone special visit me from Perth for 9 days! Martine came to visit me and we spent Sunday exploring the Tower of London and also paid a visit to Camden Town markets. The tower is around 1000 years old and has housed all sorts from prisoners, to soldiers and supplies, to exotic animals received as gifts, to the crown jewels and there was even a torture tower.
It was hard to wrap my head around the amount of history that the Tower has witnessed. By the time Australia was just being colonised, the Tower had been around for approximately 800 years. It is a timely reminder of just how young a nation Australia is.
We tried to go on the London Eye last night but it was shut by the time we got there, so tonight we will make sure we arrive on time so we can see London at night from the top of the Eye!
This week also feels like it has been especially cold and foggy. I had to buy a new jumper from the Camden Town markets and it was welcome relief from the cold! Walking to the train station I couldn’t feel my face and I could hardly see a thing due to all the fog!
Can’t wait for next week!