Tax and cost of living

The Centre for Policy Studies wants Britain to have a tax system that is simple, fair, and pro-growth. And although there have been some encouraging moves on tax policy in recent years – the corporation tax rate has gone down, the personal allowance has gone up, and savers have benefited from more generous ISAs – there is still a lot of work to be done.

We have an income tax system that is riddled with punitive marginal rates and perverse incentives that discourage work and enterprise. We have heavy property taxes that distort markets and contribute to a growing housing crisis. And we tax businesses in a way that does little to promote long-term investment. Above all, we have a tax burden that stands at its highest level in decades, and a tax code that is – at least by some measures – the longest in the world.

If we’re going to rise to the economic challenges of the 21st Century, this has to change. We need tax reform that puts more money in people’s pockets, and promotes robust, sustainable growth. At the Centre for Policy Studies, our aim is to design tax policies that meet these objectives in a practical, popular way – and which are rooted in our core principles of enterprise, opportunity, and ownership.

Our economic agenda is not confined to tax reform, however. Alongside projects looking at housing, welfare, and business policy, the Centre for Policy Studies is working on ideas to lower the cost of living – not through heavy-handed state intervention, but with reforms that make markets more competitive and ensure that consumer interests always come first.

The salience of this issue should not be underestimated. Our “New Generation” polling asked people what government could do to make their own lives better, and across the age spectrum, “do more to keep down the cost of living” was a clear winner. Those aged 18–24 ranked it just behind “more affordable housing”, and those over 65 put it second behind “better health service provision”. But every other age group made lower living costs their number one priority.

Finding realistic ways to make British life more affordable is therefore a central focus of the Centre for Policy Studies’ work.

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1 - 16 of 240 Research articles

Clearer, Fairer, Better: The case for UK subsidy transparency

- Economy

A joint paper by the Centre for Policy Studies and Centre for Public Data, backed by the Government’s Anti-Corruption Champion, John Penrose MP, argues that the Government should slash the new threshold for declaring subsidies from £500,000 to £500

Looking East: The Case for UK Membership of CPTPP

Elizabeth Dunkley - Economy

In a new report for the Centre for Policy Studies, Anthony Mangnall MP makes a robust case for British membership of the CPTPP trading area

Levelling Up and Zeroing In

James Heywood - Economy

A new report by the Centre for Policy Studies says the Government can level up and decarbonise the economy simultaneously by introducing a carbon border tax, alongside a selection of other policies

Budget Briefing: The Age of the Trillion-Pound State

CPS - Economy

In a comprehensive briefing note, the Centre for Policy Studies’ research team set out the most important takeaways from the Budget – including the fact that Boris Johnson is set, by 2025-6, to usher in the age of the trillion-pound British state.

The UK’s International Tax Competitiveness

Tom Clougherty - Tax

In an interview ahead of this week’s Global Investment Summit, Boris Johnson claimed that the UK is ‘a colossally attractive place for people to come and invest‘, and promised that it ‘will be even more attractive as a place to invest and do business‘ in future. But new analysis from the Centre for Policy Studies and the US-based… View Article

Getting Results

Julie Marson MP - Public Services

In the aftermath of Covid, the government must control public spending and draw on private sector investment and innovation A new report by Julie Marson MP shows how Social Impact Bonds, and other outcomes-based approaches, could deliver better services for less money Social Impact Bonds were invented in the UK but have struggled to take off in… View Article

The Case for Freezing Excise Duties

Tom Clougherty - Tax

New CPS briefing note urges the Chancellor to avoid raising fuel and alcohol duties or risk aggravating the cost of living crisis Raising excise duties in line with RPI would add 2.4% to the typical price of a tank of petrol, 2.2% to a bottle of wine, 3% to a case of beer, 3.1% to a bottle… View Article

Budget 2021: A Recipe for Recovery?

Tom Clougherty - Economy

CPS urges Chancellor to help private sector drive recovery

History Repeating? The lessons of the postwar recovery

Jethro Elsden - Economy

History Repeating? The lessons of the postwar recovery

Public Sector Pay: The Case for Restraint

Robert Colvile - Economy

Public sector pay freeze could save up to £23 billion by 2023

The Case Against Raising the Minimum Wage

Jethro Elsden - Economy

The generosity of the impulse behind raising and expanding the National Living Wage can only be applauded. But going ahead with the current plans will harm the very people it is designed to help.

After the Virus: A plan for restoring growth

Sajid Javid - Economy

Major new report by Sajid Javid MP and Centre for Policy Studies sets out a vision for economic recovery after the pandemic. Report stresses vital importance of Bank of England independence but argues that the Government and the Bank should consider a shift in its remit from targeting inflation to nominal GDP, in order to better deliver sustained growth.

Borrowing could hit £300bn as costs of coronavirus rise

Caroline Elsom - Economy

New Centre for Policy Studies ‘cost of coronavirus’ counter estimates a total direct and indirect cost to Government this year of £246 billion. This could bring total borrowing this year to approximately £300 billion. This total figure is roughly equivalent to double the UK’s current level of healthcare spending – in other words, enough to fund the NHS twice over

Carbon Border Tax would stop Britain hiding its true carbon emissions

Tony Lodge - Tax

A new paper from the Centre for Policy Studies calls for the introduction of a Carbon Border Tax on carbon-intensive imports to reduce global emissions and better support domestic industries.

Changing Gear: A Growth Budget to Boost the British Economy

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP - Economy

‘Changing Gear: A Growth Budget to Boost the British Economy’, authored by The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, explains how and why the British economy urgently needs a Budget for Growth to kick start a boost to the British economy.

Think Small – A blueprint for supporting UK small businesses

Nick King - Tax

‘Think Small’ is a new report which looks to make life a lot easier for small companies. It is authored by Nick King, Head of Business at the Centre for Policy Studies. The report calls for the Government to adopt an emblematic policy to champion small and family businesses: the Simple Consolidated Tax.

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1 - 16 of 240 Research articles