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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161 - 176 of 248 Research articles

The Myth of Inflation Targeting: the largest policy failure of our generation

Maurice Saatchi - Economy

In this paper, Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies Maurice Saatchi, published this report to coincide with the introduction of his Bill in the House of Lords on the same subject.

The Stock Market Under Labour: the legacy of Gordon Brown

John Littlewood - Economy

In this paper. Stock market historian John Littlewood, analyses the performance of the London Stock Market under Labour and how it has been worse than those of all other major Western economies (with the exception of Japan).

What killed capitalism? The crisis: what caused it and how to respond

Andrew Lilico - Economy

What killed capitalism? The crisis: what caused it and how to respond

Save 100,000 Homes from Reposession

- Economy

In this paper, banking and finance expert Natalie Elphicke, outlines her central recommendation that given the rise in house repossessions, governments efforts should be focused on encouraging the courts to be more understanding of those in arrears rather than direct government support as such measures are often expensive and futile.

From Boom to Bust: A plain guide to the causes and implications of the banking crisis

Howard Flight - Economy

The banking crisis has its roots in mistaken monetary and economic policies; and in regulatory failure.

Uh-oh, we’re in trouble…The recession’s come along and burst Brown’s bubble

- Economy

Public sector net debt is set to rise to around 50% of GDP, once the costs of the recent bank bail-outs are included.

The Price of Irresponsibility

Brooks Newmark MP - Economy

According to the most recently published data, in September 2008, the UK’s Public Sector Net Debt (including Northern Rock) is £632.7 billion. This is equivalent to 43.3% of GDP.

Why do we feel so broke?

Charlie Elphicke - Economy

Average household taxes are up by £7,800 a year in nominal terms since 1997. (The aggregate total increase in the household tax burden – including business taxes – is nearly £10,000 since 1997).

RIAs: Why don’t they work? A submission to the business council of Britain

Keith Boyfield - Economy

Every political party believes in the idea of better regulation. And yet every political party, once in government, fails to achieve better regulation.

Greater transparency for UK retail banking

Andrew Tyrie MP - Economy

Customers have no idea how much their bank charges them. Nor do they have any practical means of finding out. Banks offer a myriad of complex offers and products, the true value of which no reasonable customercan understand.

Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Applying Ronald Reagan’s “killer question” to the UK today

Charlie Elphicke - Economy

In the 1980 US presidential debates, Ronald Reagan’s most influential comment was judged to be his closing question to the audience: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

A Green Budget? A note for the 2007 budget

Ruth Lea - Economy

A previous CPS paper looked at the economic record of the Chancellor and concluded that even though the economy had grown well since 1997,

An agenda for tax reform

Patrick Minford - Economy

Twenty-four years ago Margaret Thatcher inaugurated nearly two decades of reform, designed to restore Britain economically to the low-inflation and dynamic economy it once had been.

The tax double whammy: More tax costs more than you think

Charlie Elphicke - Economy

By the time of the next election, the tax burden will have gone up 4.2% of GDP compared with 1996/97.

Big Bang 20 years on: New challenges facing the financial services sector

Various - Economy

THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY of the radical reform of the London Stock Exchange that came to be known as ‘Big Bang’ thoroughly deserves the thoughtful celebration this collection of essays provides.

Simply red: the true state of the public finances

Brooks Newmark MP - Economy

In recent years, critics have accused the Chancellor of using the PFI as a method of hiding, or simply deferring, a proportion of the capital costs associated with this Government’s public sector investment.

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161 - 176 of 248 Research articles