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.
The Government should extend Right to Buy to commercial tenants. This could increase development and help reduce the deficit.
The Government should enhance Business Improvement Districts and support locally-lead regeneration of Britain’s streets.
“For spoilers ahead of the Autumn Statement later this year, you could do worse than to look at anything coming out from the Centre for Policy Studies”
Introduce a Workplace ISA and ISA Pensions and reduce the deficit by up to £10 billion per year.
Michael Johnson responds to the OBR’s latest annual Fiscal Sustainability report, warning that UK debt is snowballing with frightening momentum – and it is the young who will be hit hardest.
Make inheritance tax fairer by simplifying the system with a broader base and lower rate, and eliminating many of the existing inefficient tax reliefs.
Michael Johnson warns that Generation Y could be the first generation to experience a quality of life below that of its (baby boomer) parents.
Keith Boyfield and Daniel Greenberg urge Brandon Lewis to seize the opportunity of a new Government to tackle Britain’s housing shortage.
Pensions analyst Michael Johnson urges new pensions minister Ros Altmann to continue with the bold reforms that her predecessor began.
The Government should go further and faster to promote the Sharing Economy.
Urgent policy reform is needed to reclaim popular capitalism from crony corporatists.
The idea has received renewed interest in the current election campaign and in the context of the ongoing deficit/debt reduction debate. But is it right?
The level of business taxation is critical because it directly affects investment, employment and ultimately the prosperity of a nation.
Higher taxes are not the solution to the challenges facing the UK economy.
Leading pensions expert Michael Johnson urges the Government to implement radical reform in order to avoid an impending crisis.