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  • Tax Simplifier 36: Tax simplification - why and how

    Tax Simplifier 36: Tax simplification - why and how

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. This is the final blog in the series. Read David's previous blog on the economic benefits of tax simplification. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.The previous Blog addressed the economic benefits of reform. But ...
  • Right about quite a lot

    Right about quite a lot

    Tim Knox | | Politics
    In a typically excellent article in The Times this morning (subtitled “The Right has been vindicated on energy taxes, Europe and government debt”), Tim Montgomerie asked three rhetorical questions. Breaking Ronald Reagan’s cardinal rule of politics (“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you ...
  • Osborne's CGT Proposals

    Osborne's CGT Proposals

    Lucian Cook | | Economy
    Lucian Cook, Director of Residential Research at Savills and author of ‘Taxing Mansions’ for the CPS, writes on why targeted tax proposals make the argument for a Mansion Tax weaker. Proposals to tax the capital gains of non-UK resident property investors are much more targeted and much less controversial solution to ...
  • Something scary is happening in this country

    Something scary is happening in this country

    North Korea is a scary place that we too often write off as a laugh. That was the conclusion of Ian Birrell’s excellent Guardian article on the horrors of North Korea. It made you reflect upon your own lax attitude to the comical but deadly regime.Of course, finding the humour ...
  • Tax Simplifier 35: Tax simplification - economic benefits

    Tax Simplifier 35: Tax simplification - economic benefits

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on the principles of simplification. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.HMRC costs about £4bn per year to run. The ...
  • Eurosceptic thinking has noble roots: a reply to Simon Wren-Lewis

    Eurosceptic thinking has noble roots: a reply to Simon Wren-Lewis

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    “The fundamental problem of the political left seems to be that the real world does not fit their preconceptions,” once said Thomas Sowell. “Therefore they see the real world as what is wrong, and what needs to be changed, since apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.”I was reminded of this ...
  • Tax Simplifier 34: Transition to a simpler system - the principles

    Tax Simplifier 34: Transition to a simpler system - the principles

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on tax boundaries. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.A fundamental issue to be confronted on achieving substantial tax reform ...
  • Travers and Whitehead on the mansion tax

    Travers and Whitehead on the mansion tax

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    Tony Travers and Christine Whitehead have an interesting paper out on the housing market as part of the LSE’s “Creating the Conditions for Growth” series, which landed on my desk yesterday. As part of it, they review the situation on property taxation, in particular the so-called “mansion tax”. Lucian Cook ...
  • Tax Simplifier 33: Too many pieces in the tax jigsaw!

    Tax Simplifier 33: Too many pieces in the tax jigsaw!

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on tax knowledge at HM Treasury. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.Two apparently similar situations can be taxed very ...
  • Ministers have to value stay-at-home mothers now their worth has been established

    Ministers have to value stay-at-home mothers now their worth has been established

    Kathy Gyngell | | Social Policy
    Stay-at-home mothering might just be a lifestyle choice for George Osborne but ‘informal’ childcare turns out to have an economic tag of £323 billion – equivalent to 23 per cent of GDP. So why hasn’t he or any of his Ministers mentioned it? Why the reluctance to reconsider what counts ...
  • Tax Simplifier 32: Who makes tax policy?

    Tax Simplifier 32: Who makes tax policy?

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on tax complexity. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier. Tax is a technical subject. It is right to enquire whether ...
  • More thoughts on the IMF's wealth confiscation paper

    More thoughts on the IMF's wealth confiscation paper

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    In my City AM column on Tuesday, I outlined how the IMF’s most recent Fiscal Monitor document, entitled “Taxing Times”, laid the intellectual work for an escalation of the tax burden (particularly on the wealthy). It was a huge shift from what you might expect the IMF to say. Sure, ...
  • Tax Simplifier 31: An example of tax complexity - tax definitions

    Tax Simplifier 31: An example of tax complexity - tax definitions

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on tax complexity. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.Tax legislators have always allowed themselves a great deal of freedom ...
  • Lessons from the Royal Mail share scheme

    Lessons from the Royal Mail share scheme

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The Royal Mail share scheme has gone through in what the Daily Telegraph report as “one of the most popular share offers in UK history”. The institutional offer was 20 times oversubscribed and the retail offer 7 times oversubscribed. Some might call that “popular capitalism”, others have claimed that this ...
  • Tax Simplifier 30: Tax complexity affects ordinary people - an example

    Tax Simplifier 30: Tax complexity affects ordinary people - an example

    David Martin | | Tax Simplifier
    The 'Tax Simplifier' series aims to make the case for a much simpler tax code with practical recommendations for policy change. Blogs are published twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Read David's previous blog on artificial tax planning. You can follow David on Twitter @TaxSimplifier.Tax complexity can affect ordinary people, not just big sophisticated ...