In March, Sir David Natzler retired as Clerk of the Commons after over 40 years in the House. Now, he is the co-editor of Erskine May, the 25th edition of which is the first new edition in eight years, and is freely available to the public: a significant change. Here, Sir David discusses some of the key changes to the text after what can only be described as an eventful eight years for the Commons.
The years since the last edition of Erskine May in 2011 have been pretty turbulent by any standards. We have had three types – coalition, majority and minority – of government, two general elections, three national referendums and numerous constitutional statutes of real significance. So it was plainly time for a new edition of this timeless work, which is often referred to but rarely read.
The new Erskine May is exciting to me because…
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Somerecentposts by Rauparaha at The Visible Hand in Economics have got me thinking about the problems of subjectivism and value pluralism in welfare economics. Rauparaha is using widely-accepted methodology and taking the conventional view on this, so my criticisms are not directed at him particularly, but at the general approach taken by most welfare economists. He says, for example:
It’s great to see the government taking economic incentives seriously. Their latest initiative considers imposing a 5c/bag tariff on plastic bags in supermarkets. The idea is that the market price for the bags doesn’t take into account the full environmental cost of non-biodegradable bags. By taxing the bags the government can adjust the market price of the bags to match their social cost.
It seems to me that the idea that government can use Pigouvian taxes and subsidies to internalise externalities stems from a combination of technocratic…
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