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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209 - 224 of 248 Research articles

The Bad Samaritan: The War of Independence Part Two

Maurice Saatchi - Economy

What to do? The War of Independence: a Declaration proposed by a radical reform of the tax and benefit system. The plan was to raise the income threshold, below which people do not pay tax, from its present level of £4,300 to £15,000.

The War of Independence

Maurice Saatchi - Economy

Lord Maurice Saatchi and Peter Warburton look at Britain’s system of tax and spending and propose ways in which to modernise it for the 21st Century in The War of Independence.

Serious Damage

Richard Baron - Economy

The Deputy Head of the Policy Institute of Directors, Richard Baron looks at the impact of withholding tax on the City of London in the report, ‘Serious Damage.’

The Price of Fairness: The Costs of the Proposed Labour Market Reforms

Patrick Minford - Economy

New Labour was elected on a promise to combine ‘fairness’ and ‘flexibility’ in its labour market policies. In the section on business in its 1997 manifesto, New Labour promised to ‘introduce minimum standards for the individual at work’.

The Performance of Privatisation Vol. III: Privatisation and Efficiency

NERA - Economy

Does anyone today doubt that the privatised industries are now more ‘efficient’ than they were when they were in state hands?

The Performance of Privatisation Vol. II: Privatisation and its Effect on the Exchequer

NERA - Economy

In the accompanying report, National Economic Research Associates (NERA) has presented the findings of the first independent analysis of the effect of privatisation on the exchequer. The performance of 33 companies has been analysed.

The Performance of Privatisation Vol. I: The Question of Safety

NERA - Economy

In its analysis of employee safety, NERA concludes that the post-privatisation record has been impressive.

Public Spending: A twenty-year plan for reform

Patrick Minford - Economy

Public spending must be reduced if the economy is to prosper; and the economy must prosper greatly so that taxes can also be cut.

Out of sight out of mind: the dangerous neglect of Britain’s ‘invisibles’

Bill Jamieson - Economy

Britain’s invisible earnings are so condemned to obscurity by the very name they go by. Yet they are the hidden crown jewels of the economy.

Britain and the Community: The Right Way Forward

Nevil Johnson - Economy

Twenty years have passed since Britain committed itself to the Treaty of Rome and thereby became a member of what at the time was still formally designated the European Economic Community and known more familiarly as the Common Market.

Privatisation Everywhere: the world’s adoption of the British experience

John Moore MP - Economy

The worldwide collapse of state socialism has focused new attention on the workings of a free economy. Interest centres above all on how the huge range of industries presently languishing in state control around the globe can be successfully transferred to private ownership.

Monetary Policy after Maastricht: how much independence will Britain Possess?

Martin Howe QC - Economy

Recent discussion about the implications of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union has been far ranging and sometimes intense, but little attention has been paid to the nature and extent of the legal obligations assumed by the United Kingdom under the Treaty in relation to monetary union.

What’s wrong with Capital Gains Tax

Thomas Griffin - Economy

In the political world the general view of capital gains tax is one of indifference; it is a subject little discussed.

A Cautionary Tale of the EMU: Some mistakes, Some Remedies

Andrew Tyrie - Economy

The Renewed interest in monetary union can be explained largely in terms of the politics of the Franco-German alliance.

Giving: How to encourage charities more

Nicholas True - Economy

The annual turnover of the charitable sector has been estimated at some £13billion. Charities are being registered by the Charity Commission at the rate of one every 30 minutes for the working day.

‘Exploding’ Wealth for All

George Copeman - Economy

Britain’s tax regime favours the creators of wealth who can invest for tomorrow’s expansion out of today’s income before it is taxed. Employees without equity in their workplace enjoy no such benefit in creating wealth for themselves.

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209 - 224 of 248 Research articles