Category Archive: VAT and fiscal policy

Feb 01

Margaret Hodge and the tax accountants

I must admit to having a sneaking regard for Margaret Hodge as a tribune of the people and defender of the taxpayer in her role as Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Until yesterday, that is. In a blatant attempt to score a few cheap points by exploiting her position, she cut …

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Dec 28

The International Economic Outlook for 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, the financial press is dominated by the impending US “fiscal cliff”.  What seems remarkable in this age of 24/7 rolling news is that the crisis seems to have crept up on us without warning. Yet it was completely foreseeable. What is even more remarkable is that I have yet to read …

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Nov 07

City Book Fair November 13th 2012 – Preview of My Presentation on the International Financial Crisis

The international financial crisis is evolving very much as foreseen in The Golden Guinea.  The International Financial Crisis 2007-2014: Causes, Consequences and Cures, I am grateful to the organisers of next week’s City Book Fair at the Bishopsgate Institute, London EC2, for giving me the opportunity to present my analysis and proposed strategy for how it might be …

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Oct 08

Towards a tax revolution

The lead article in today’s Financial Times, “Austerity Squeeze Set to Last until 2018”, brings the depressing but not unexpected news that it will take longer to tackle the UK’s budget deficit than previously thought. But this does not mean that the government should increase the overall burden of taxation – the strategy implied by Ed Milliband, in his much lauded speech …

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Jun 29

Five Forecasts of The Golden Guinea (from the launch presentation in Edinburgh, June 28 2012)

The story goes of how Winston Churchill wanted to appoint a chief economic adviser during the war. “Are there by any chance any candidates who have lost a limb during the conflict?” he asked his senior civil servant. “What an excellent idea, Prime Minister,” responded the Sir Humphrey of the day. “To give special consideration …

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Jun 23

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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May 31

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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