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.
John Chown shows how, despite the fact that the original proposals for an EU-wide FTT were successfully vetoed by the British Prime Minister in 2011, similar proposals are now being implemented by the European Commission in eleven Member States under a process known as the Enhanced Cooperation Procedure.
The Coalition has replaced its original deficit reduction plan with a “protection of government spending plans plan”, write Ryan Bourne and Tim Knox.
Ewen Stewart, a leading bond and equity analyst, investigates whether current UK monetary and fiscal policies are sustainable in in Masking the Symptoms: why QE and huge deficits are not the cure.
Dominic Raab MP sets out ten ways in which more competition can widen consumer choice and reduce costs in five key sectors: energy, water, retail banking, schools and health
Leading pensions analyst Michael Johnson explains why the future cost of public service pensions could be as much as £41 billion a year.
Ryan Bourne writes of how Estonia provides a clear case-study of a country which has successfully embraced austerity and seen a return to sustainable economic growth.
A new briefing note published today by the Centre for Policy Studies highlights many of the inherent flaws in proposals for a Mansion Tax.
CGT is a damaging tax, and the current high top rate is likely to be undermining our economic recovery, reveals a new Centre for Policy Studies Pointmaker The case against CGT by Howard Flight and Oliver Latham.
On each of the three main international surveys of UK competitiveness, the UK has improved its ranking since 2010. This is after a period of significant decline between 1997 and 2010.
The Coalition is unlikely to achieve its aims of eliminating the current structural deficit by the end of this Parliament or stemming the increase in public debt as a proportion of GDP.
Richard Epstein, Niall Ferguson, Deepak Lal and John Redwood MP on Milton Friedman.
A statistical paper outlining the case that economies with small governments tend to grow faster than those with big governments.
Jesse Norman argues the case for replacing PFI with a new model of public sector procurement.
The consensus view of the 1930s as a universally destitute time is a myth, writes George Trefgarne.
In the lead-up to the 2012 Budget, Ryan Bourne and Tim Knox set out the policies they’d adopt for wealth and job creation.