Merryn’s blog

How to make stamp duty a little less crazy

Estate agent's window © Getty images

Stamp duty is a mad tax for all sorts of reasons, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But if anybody should have to pay it, make it the seller.

How technology will transform farming

Crops growing in a field © Getty Images

New technology will revolutionise farming to the same extent that the invention of the plough did in the past, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

We don’t need grammar schools – we need grammar streams

Schoolchildren in class © Getty Images

Selection in education is good, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But only if it is fluid. We should create “grammar streams” in every comprehensive.

Hang on to your £50s. There aren’t many of them about

£50 notes © Getty Images

The Bank of England isn’t banning the £50 note – it’s gradually phasing it out instead.

Why hire scientists when you can get more value from accountants?

Portrait of a scientist © Getty Images

With negative interest rates, big companies have lost all incentive to make money the old fashioned way. They can just get paid to borrow money instead.

While most of us struggle with pensions, some lucky workers will do just fine

National Grid CEO Steve Holliday © Getty Images

For the average worker, investing for retirement can be a headache. But employees of the Bank of England don’t have that worry. And, with an £11k a week pension, nor does the CEO of National Grid.

The EU starts to show its rotten heart

REfugees and police on the border between Hungary and Serbia © Gerry Images

The EU’s failure to deal with both the financial and migration crises prove the need for its fundamental reform, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

I don't dare bet against the prices of the best houses in the best parts of London

Prime London property in Kensington © Getty Images

London property is clearly horribly overpriced. But don’t bet on prime properties in the best areas falling in price, says Merryn Somerset Webb

Could a camper van really give you better returns than an Isa?

VW camper van © Getty Images

One optimistic ex-saver has swapped her Isa for a camper van. It’s a rare example of monetary policy actually having its intended effect, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The media wakes up to the truth about pension fund deficits

Ros Altmann © Getty Images

The way pension funds are driven into low-yielding bonds in defiance of any sort of sense is finally making its way into the mainstream press.

Bewildered by Brexit? Traumatised by Trumpism? Blame monetary policy

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The reasons Americans are turning to Trump are the same reasons Britons voted for Brexit: A complete lack of growth and the failure of the authorities to fix it.

Stop charities running amok with public money

Charity donation boxes © Getty Images

With over 200,000 charities, supported by the taxpayer to the tune of £16bn a year, the current system of financing charities is very silly and very expensive, says Merryn Somerset Webb. It has to end.

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