UK growth likely to rise above 1.5% next year, says thinktank

Plans to ease austerity slightly over next five years are not believable, according to NIESR

Britain’s growth rate will bounce back above 1.5% next year as ministers exceed existing public spending budgets to cope with an ageing population, a leading thinktank has said.

The National Institute for Social & Economic Research (NIESR) said plans to ease austerity only slightly over the next five years were “unbelievable”. It added that government spending would almost certainly need to increase by more than expected in the next few years, increasing the UK’s GDP growth.

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Curbing pensioner benefits could help the young, says report

Lords committee calls for free TV licences for over-75s and other perks to be scrapped

Free TV licences for over-75s should be scrapped, the age threshold for free bus passes raised and the triple-lock on pensions abolished to close the widening gap between young and old in Britain, according to a Lords report.

The House of Lords committee on intergenerational fairness and provision said it was time to rebalance government policy in favour of the young, to remove the risk of the social bonds between generations fraying further.

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Hammond must seek answers from Bank of England hopefuls | Larry Elliott

With plenty of suitable candidates for governor, the chancellor needs to ask them the right questions

Picture the scene. It is high summer at the UK Treasury. Outside in St James’s Park, the tourists are feeding the ducks but inside a selection panel is interviewing a shortlist of candidates to be the next governor of the Bank of England.

Attracting suitable candidates has not been a problem. The headhunters have found plenty of people to fit the job description: a person of the highest calibre respected in the highest echelons of central banking. A shortlist of three names has been drawn up.

Related: Chancellor hires diversity specialists to find new Bank governor

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Courtesy, curtness and my gender pay gap report | Letters

Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs responds to a recent column by Zoe Williams; Elizabeth Manning points out the old pound coins in the illustration accompanying the piece

Zoe Williams wonders whether the “courtly courtesy” I showed to her is genuine or sarcastic (Why pay-gap truthers are on the rise, G2, 23 April). I’m pleased to confirm it’s the former – perhaps it’s my American friendliness, or perhaps it’s how any decent person acts in a green room, but I’ve always found that debate on-camera should not preclude pleasantries off-camera. I do take issue with the description of “practically curtseying”, however; Yankees ruled out this act on 4 July 1776.

From courtesy to curt – Ms Williams’ description of my pay gap report as legitimising “alt-right YouTube narrative[s]” makes me wonder if she believes it is problematic or offensive for a woman, in her own time and off her own back, to show an interest in statistics – and indeed, the manipulation of statistics.

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Other People’s Money review – good capitalism goes to war with greed

Southwark Playhouse, London
Unfettered excess and predatory humour combine in a timely reflection on big business

Jerry Sterner’s play about Wall Street avarice first opened off-Broadway two years after the stock market crash of 1987 and soon became a film starring Gregory Peck and Danny DeVito. Revived in our age of economic collapse and austerity, it is a timely rumination on the amorality of unfettered free-market capitalism.

The plot pits Andrew Jorgenson, the patriarch of a family-run firm on Rhode Island, against Larry the Liquidator, a corporate raider from New York who seeks to make a profit from other people’s failing assets. “There’s an important story that needs to be told,” says William (Mark Rose), an employee at Jorgenson’s wire and cable firm, who is also our narrator. “It’s about loyalty, friendship, tradition and of course, money. Lots of money.”

At Southwark Playhouse, London, until 11 May.

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Hammond misses budget target but deficit is at 17-year low

ONS says borrowing in latest full financial year was £24.7bn, down 41%

Philip Hammond has missed his annual target for bringing down the budget deficit, despite borrowing dropping to the lowest level since 2002.

The Office for National Statistics said that borrowing in the latest full financial year, which ended in March, was £24.7bn, down by 41% from a year earlier but above the target set for the chancellor.

Related: Philip Hammond starts search for next Bank of England governor

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Capitalism is failing workers. People want a job with a decent wage – why is that so hard? | Richard Reeves

The workings of capitalism have been challenged both from the populist right and the socialist left. At the heart of the discontent in the US is faltering wages

Before capitalism, there was work. Before markets, before even money, there was work. Our remotest ancestors, hunting and gathering, almost certainly did not see work as a separate, compartmentalized part of life in the way we do today. But we have always had to work to live. Even in the 21st century, we strive through work for the means to live, hence the campaign for a “living wage”.

As a species, we like to define ourselves through our thoughts and wisdom, as homo sapiens. But we could as easily do so through the way we consciously apply effort towards certain goals, by our work – as homo laborans. It nonetheless took two revolutions, one agricultural, one industrial, to turn “work” into its own category.

Richard Reeves is the author of Dream Hoarders and a Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution

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Workers are creating massive wealth. Why are corporations hoarding it all? | Cory Booker

Our economy works best when no one is left on the sidelines, writes Cory Booker, US Senator for New Jersey and a Democratic presidential candidate

Every day Carol Ruiz wakes up at 3.30am and goes to an airline catering service at Newark Airport, where she helps prepare the food carts that flight attendants push up and down the aisle. She organizes the napkins, creamers, sugar, and cups that go on the beverage cart, cleans the glasses and silverware, and diligently tracks the champagne that goes on the carts for first class passengers.
At the end of her 40-hour week she takes home $345. The average airline CEO makes that amount in about 20 minutes.

Last year, while Carol was undergoing treatment for cancer, her kids and husband went without health insurance so the family could afford her medical bills.

Cory Booker is a US Senator for New Jersey and a Democratic presidential candidate

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