Each Brexit scenario will leave Britain worse off, study finds

Global Future finds Theresa May’s preferred bespoke deal would cost £615m a week

Each of the government’s four Brexit scenarios, including a bespoke deal, would leave Britain poorer and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds each week, analysis has shown.

The study for the thinktank Global Future by Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics and public policy at King’s College, London, found that a bespoke deal, the government’s preferred option, would have a net negative fiscal impact of about £40bn a year.

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Don’t call all landlords parasites | Letters

Lorraine Hewitt and Martin Cooper respond to a recent Guardian article

Rhik Samadder’s view of landlords (Landlords are social parasites. They don’t deserve any awards, 16 April) does not reflect the true situation and is not the balanced reporting normally associated with the Guardian.

We agree there are certainly many bad landlords, but there are also good ones. Bitter experience taught us that when landlords have bad tenants there is little true protection for the landlord. Not all landlords are raking in money from poor quality housing.

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Raise UK household incomes by ending austerity, say Fabians

Labour MPs co-author report urging public investment and a bigger role for unions

Stronger trade unions, improved regional policy and an end to austerity should form part of a plan to return growth in living standards to its pre-crisis levels, according to a leading leftwing thinktank.

Calling for a fairer tax system and a less flexible labour market, the Fabian Society said a comprehensive strategy was required to boost household incomes.

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The right and left have both signed up to the myth of free market | Larry Elliott

The problem for progressives is that neo-classical beliefs have taken politics to the right

You can’t buck the market. The turn to the right taken by politics from the mid-1970s onwards was summed up in one phrase coined by Margaret Thatcher in 1988.

This idea tended to be associated with liberal economists such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, both of whom influenced Thatcher deeply. Both thought that left to their own devices buyers and sellers would work out the price for everything, be that a loaf of bread, a wage, or an operation in the health service.

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Social enterprises and the failures of Friedmanism | Letters

Readers respond to articles by Aditya Chakrabortty and Larry Elliott

It’s brilliant to read about the fantastic impact that social enterprises are having on Plymouth (Aditya Chakrabortty: A city that grows good companies, 11 April), allowing the city to grow and develop on its own terms. What is happening in Plymouth is inspiring, but it is important to note that, far from being contained to one city, social enterprises are part of a global movement. In the UK alone, there are tens of thousands of social enterprises – each one dedicated to putting people and communities ahead of private profit. Plymouth is one of 25 officially accredited Social Enterprise Places using social enterprise as a tool to create fairer, accountable and more sustainable economies.

Far from being a new idea, social enterprises have proud origins. The Rochdale Pioneers used the principles of social enterprise to tackle the inequities of the Industrial Revolution and these same principles of fairness, equality and community benefit inform social enterprises today.

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More migrant workers needed to offset ageing population, says IMF

Fund’s report advises advanced economies against greater controls on migration

The International Monetary Fund has said advanced economies such as Britain, the US and Japan risk being overwhelmed by their ageing populations, and calls on them to throw open their borders to more migrant workers in response.

Within the next few decades, working-age adults will need to support double the number of elderly people than they do now, putting immense pressure on welfare systems and wiping out as much as 3% of potential economic output by 2050, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

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Why the UK trade deficit with the EU is woeful and widening | Larry Elliott

The single market benefits manufacturers far more than providers of services. Guess which Britain excels in

At the time it was big, big news. Three days before the general election, official figures showed that Britain’s trade had taken a marked turn for the worse. Government claims that the economy was healthy took a knock.

That was June 1970, a time when the size of Britain’s trade gap was front page stuff. Headlines screamed about the UK being back in the red. The TV news bulletins were full of it. Harold Wilson is supposed to have blamed it – along with England’s defeat by West Germany in the World Cup – for his unexpected defeat at the hands of Ted Heath the following Thursday. All this for a trade deficit of just £31m, distorted by the arrival in Britain of a couple of Boeing’s new jumbo jets.

Productivity is an economic measure of the efficiency of a workforce. It typically measures the level of output per hour of work, or per worker.

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The ‘will of the people’ can change. Ask Clement Attlee

A lesson for Brexit: the postwar Labour government was elected, re-elected and humiliated in the space of six years. Each time, the people ‘spoke’

On 5 July 1945, the British people “spoke”. Churchill had been a great war leader, but memories of the unemployment and penury of the interwar years were strong. Labour was elected by a resounding majority. On 23 February 1950, the Attlee government went to the country, and, again, the people “spoke”. The government was re-elected.

Although that immediate postwar Attlee government has been almost sanctified by modern historians, things were rough for it most of the time. The largely Conservative press attacked many of the social reforms that were subsequently accepted by the Tory party.

How long will it be before the government – and the Labour party – realise that our EU partners mean what they say?

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