Tax reform


George Osborne needs to deliver serious tax reform

21 February 2013 16:01

‘Isn’t there a case for looking at the whole system at some point?’ whispered Isabel on Tuesday when MPs criticised the taxman again. Well, yes, there is. Last May, the… Continue reading

UK Uncut protesters outside a Starbucks in central London today. Picture: Getty

Starbucks protests: We need political power to reform the tax system

8 December 2012 16:56

UK Uncut is holding its day of action against Starbucks today, with more than 40 demonstrations across the country in the chain’s coffee shops. The group’s sit-ins aim to highlight… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith needs to recognise that welfare is more complicated than he has imagined. Image: Getty.

The dangers of yearning for a simple life

22 September 2012 16:53

What is this mania for simplification? Listening to Nigel Farage struggling to explain UKIP tax policy on the Today programme this week made me wonder why, in so many areas… Continue reading


Promoting tax transparency at the petrol pumps

21 August 2012 11:26

Too many taxes are buried in prices. From Value Added Tax to the cost of extravagant subsidies for renewable energy, all people see is the shop charging them a higher… Continue reading

Olympics Day 9 - Athletics

Usain Bolt, tax campaigner

14 August 2012 17:26

Living legend Usain Bolt is an unlikely mascot for those who campaign for reform of our tax system, but by confirming that he will continue to avoid competitions in the… Continue reading

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander in Downing Street

Danny, David and tax

24 June 2012 13:15

What are we to make the split between Danny Alexander and his predecessor as deputy Chancellor, David Laws, over the size of the state? Laws says today it should be… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Launches The Conservative Party's 2012 Local Election Campaign

A lesson for Cameron from Blair

22 June 2012 18:00

A few years back the radio disc jockey John Peel died. Some public sorrow was expressed and soon Tony Blair issued a press release explaining his personal sadness. A little… Continue reading

British Prime Minister David Cameron (C)

The politics of tax avoidance pt. 2

21 June 2012 15:15

David Cameron got into hot water yesterday when he pronounced Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance ‘completely wrong’, inviting every nosey-parker to examine Tory donors. But he was a little less clear… Continue reading

British Prime Minister David Cameron (C)

Gary Barlow, ‘immoral’ OBE

21 June 2012 11:00

Now, here’s a question. Should Gary Barlow be stripped of his OBE? There are a number of possible answers, including who the hell is Gary Barlow? Well, he was, or… Continue reading

British Prime Minister David Cameron arr

The politics of tax avoidance

20 June 2012 17:00

There is much excitement on the wires about David Cameron’s attitude to tax avoidance. The PM’s just told ITV news: ‘He’s [Jimmy Carr] taking the money from tickets and as… Continue reading

Merkel And Hollande Meet Hours After Hollande's Inauguration

Economic lessons from Germany

12 June 2012 0:00

The Eurozone crisis is teaching us plenty about how to recover from recessions. The nations that tried a debt-fuelled stimulus have found that their economies haven’t grown much, but they… Continue reading


In place of tinkering: the 2020 Tax Commission

20 May 2012 22:41

The report which Fraser mentioned last week, from the 2020 Tax Commission, has just been published – you can download the summary here and full report here. Allister Heath, chairman of the… Continue reading


Osborne’s Easter gift to Boris

7 April 2012 11:20

George Osborne indicating that he is open to him and other ministers having to publish their tax returns is testament to two things. First, the Tory leadership, who know how… Continue reading


Good Boris

4 October 2011 13:02

Boris Johnson must be one of the very few politicians in the world to make the audience laugh before they even start their speech. Just by walking on stage, he… Continue reading


Miliband’s three mistakes

28 September 2011 12:33

Three things puzzled me about Ed Miliband’s conference speech yesterday. First, I didn’t understand why Miliband did not attack Cameron for having talked about the need for ‘moral capitalism’ and… Continue reading


Why mansion tax makes sense

20 September 2011 17:25

Messy deals and fudged compromises: an inevitable feature of coalition politics. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the resulting policy will always be bad. As a result of grubby negotiations in Downing… Continue reading


Clegg biography claims the Lib Dems want a new coalition agreement

17 September 2011 0:22

Lib Dem conference this year brings with it the serialisation of Jasper Gerard’s biography of Nick Clegg. The focus will be on the claims that deputy Prime Minister has promised… Continue reading


A growing argument about the 50p rate

7 September 2011 8:51

With the Eurozone and American economies both at risk of a double dip recession, how to get the British economy moving again is going to be one of the defining… Continue reading


Allowing localism to flourish

29 March 2011 11:10

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, and 551 local councillors have written to the Times (£) warning that short-term cuts to care charities will bequeath deeper medium-term… Continue reading


Lawson: don’t do it George

26 March 2011 14:29

Lord Lawson has given George Osborne’s Budget an A-minus. Writing in today’s Times (£), the former chancellor said that his successor ‘got the big questions right’ by sticking to deficit… Continue reading


Merging Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions – Simples?

24 March 2011 12:38

“I am announcing today that the Government will consult on merging the operation of National Insurance and Income Tax.” The word ‘consultation’ in the Budget drew the longest, loudest sigh… Continue reading


Giving up before the race has begun?

23 March 2011 17:18

How will history judge George Osborne’s second Budget? Once the headline writers have moved on to the next story and the longer-term consequences of the measures become apparent, will this… Continue reading


Osborne pulls it off

23 March 2011 15:36

George Osborne beat the expectations game today. His abolition of the fuel duty escalator for this parliament should — Elizabeth Taylor and Libya permitting — get him the front pages… Continue reading


Three principles that should underpin the Budget

22 March 2011 17:51

As I see it, there should be three simple principles underpinning George Osborne’s Budget tomorrow. Let’s take them one by one: 1) Variations in household wealth mean that policies aimed… Continue reading


High tax Britain

10 March 2011 9:24

The government says that the forthcoming budget is going to be all about growth. And rightly so: the economy is still in the doldrums, and without much stronger growth than… Continue reading