Michael Nevin

Author's posts

The Jimmy Carr Affair and the British Tax System

“The art of taxation,” observed John-Baptiste Colbert, Treasurer to King Louis XIV in France, “consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest number of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” The recent bout of moral outrage regarding the tax affairs of Jimmy Carr and other celebrities has resulted in a great deal of hissing for very few feathers. …

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The Economic Consequences of Greek Exit from the Euro

With just over a week to go before the Greek General Election, it is reported that the left-wing Syriza Party may emerge with the most seats and be invited to form a government led by Alexis Tsipras.  His economic policy is based on two pillars: 1. Greece should remain within the Euro. 2. However, Greece should not continue the policies of austerity …

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The “Pasty Tax” and VAT on Food in the UK

The news that the British government has decided to rescind its ill-conceived “pasty tax” – the 20% VAT rate levied on hot pasties and other hot food served by bakers introduced in the budget eight weeks ago – comes as a welcome relief, not just for Cornish pasty manufacturers, but more widely for the British …

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The Euro and the Spanish banking crisis

The origins of the Spanish banking crisis date back to the fateful decision taken by the Spanish Government in 1999 to surrender the peseta and adopt the euro. For a time, it seemed as though the euro would bring prosperity to the Iberian peninsular, as interest rates fell to German levels and property prices soared, …

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The German Finance Minister proposes a solution to the Eurozone crisis

As the Eurozone crisis deepens, the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has come up with an interesting proposal to help resolve it. He has suggested that the real wages of German workers should be significantly increased. An increase in real wages would increase their spending power, and hence the level of imports that German consumers …

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The President-Elect of France as a German Satrap

It has not taken long for François Hollande to receive a hard lesson on the limits of French presidential power in 2012. Less than 24 hours after being elected President of France, M. Hollande’s eminently sensible proposal to re-examine the terms of the Eurozone fiscal compact negotiated by his predecessor has been rejected out of …

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François Hollande elected President of France – an end to austerity?

Elections in France and Greece on May 6 saw voters reject policies of austerity in both countries. In France, President-elect Hollande has stated that he will seek to amend the Eurozone’s fiscal compact, under which euro members have committed themselves to reducing their national budget deficits to no more than 0.5% of GDP – very …

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