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Tax

George Osborne needs to develop policies that encourage conservative behaviour - and votes for the Conservatives.

What I want from the Budget: some conservatism

18 March 2014 10:18

Budget day tomorrow, and I’m sure many of you will relish the reminder that you are, in George Osborne’s reported view, ‘successful’ because you pay 40p tax band. It’s better… Continue reading

39 Comments
Ben Gummer. Picture: PA

How tax transparency can help the Tories

17 March 2014 17:45

George Osborne is as adept as any gamekeeper at setting little traps in every Budget and Autumn Statement for Labour to fall down. He hinted at a few in his… Continue reading

12 Comments
This is George Osborne's last chance to secure a legacy as a reforming Chancellor.

This time George, let there be no Budget bodging

17 March 2014 11:53

The first and best thing George Osborne could do is start all over again. Of course he won’t and this week’s budget will be another missed opportunity. But each year… Continue reading

12 Comments
What would you like to see in this year's Budget?

George Osborne’s last chance: 40p…or childcare?

14 March 2014 17:27

Next week’s Budget is the last chance for George Osborne to make a ‘game-changing reform’. Backbench Tories have been clamouring for Osborne to reduce the number of people paying the… Continue reading

53 Comments
Ed Balls, having crossed another line at the London Marathon. Image: Getty

What does Ed Balls have against marriage?

14 March 2014 11:07

Ed Balls has announced today that he’d scrap even the tiny tax break that George Osborne is planning to offer next year, thus drawing another dividing line with the Tories.… Continue reading

138 Comments
What would you like to see in this year's Budget?

Melanie McDonagh: What I’d like to see in the Budget

13 March 2014 14:47

Every year, I sit through the Budget, and every year there are great chunks of it that pass right over my and everyone’s head because they’re arcane and fiddly. Fabulous… Continue reading

9 Comments
George Osborne campaigning against Gordon Brown's 'jobs tax' in 2010. Renaming National Insurance the 'Earnings Tax' would make any Labour designs on the payment less politically palatable. Picture: Getty

Tory call to rebrand National Insurance is politically smart

23 February 2014 20:39

The government’s legislative programme is pretty light at present. But the Bill that is going to spark the most interest this week is destined to go nowhere at all. It’s… Continue reading

59 Comments
Image: Getty

Why Ed Balls doesn’t care about criticisms of his tax plan

3 February 2014 12:00

There were a million people who voted Labour in the 2005 general election but not in 2010, when the party fell from a 66 majority to 48 seats behind the… Continue reading

35 Comments
‘Punch and Judy’ returns to PMQs. Image: Getty

Class war at PMQs leaves Labour in better heart

29 January 2014 13:58

It was back to business as usual at PMQs today. Gone was Miliband’s effort to raise the tone, which Cameron ruthlessly exploited last week, to be replaced by an old-fashioned,… Continue reading

50 Comments
Global Business Coalition for Education, the charity founded by Sarah Brown, is registered in 'the Cayman Islands of North America'. (LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

Sarah Brown’s unpatriotic office

28 January 2014 14:24

‘[T]he old tax havens have no place in this new world. We now call on all countries to apply international standards,’ said Gordon Brown back in 2009 when he was… Continue reading

41 Comments
Sir Richard Branson flaps his wings ready to fly away. Image: Getty

What do you think of the EU now, Sir Richard?

14 October 2013 10:55

So goodbye then, Sir Richard Branson. Just one question before you go: will you, from the comfort of your sunny Caribbean tax haven, continue to lecture us about the merits… Continue reading

98 Comments
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Visit Lloyds TSB Bank

How strong can the Tory tax attack be?

29 September 2013 13:21

One of the key dividing lines in 2015 will be over what sort of action each of the parties proposes to take over filling the financial black hole. The choice… Continue reading

6 Comments
mansion tax

We haven’t heard the last of the mansion tax

28 September 2013 12:52

In Manchester this week, there’ll be much talk from the Tories about how they are gunning for a majority. But in private, many senior Tories will admit that being the… Continue reading

69 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Spends A Holiday In Cornwall With His Family

David Cameron unveils £1,000 marriage tax allowance

27 September 2013 22:00

That the Conservatives were going to announce a marriage tax allowance at their party conference had to be one of the worst kept secrets in Westminster since the date of… Continue reading

83 Comments
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Lib Dem conference: Nick Clegg narrowly wins 45p/50p tax vote

16 September 2013 18:07

It was so close that they had to count the votes in the conference hall, and even then, the Liberal Democrats only backed Nick Clegg on retaining the 45p tax… Continue reading

8 Comments
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Two nations, two cultures? Britain is divided by the Trent, not the Tweed.

19 August 2013 13:26

Of the many certainties those Scots in favour of independence hold to be self-evident two in particular stand out. First that Scotland and England are fundamentally different places whose political… Continue reading

302 Comments
Justin Forsyth and the then International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell in Somalia in 2011. (Thomas Mukoya/AFP/Getty Images)

Being uncharitable

9 August 2013 14:49

William Shawcross’s comments earlier in the week, following the disclosure that the number of staff at foreign aid charities earning salaries greater than £100,000 a year has grown from 19 to 30 since… Continue reading

25 Comments
Stamp Duty is affecting ordinary house sales in the Midlands and the North, not just the plusher regions of London and the South East.

Stamp Duty is stomping all over Middle England

6 August 2013 13:40

65 per cent of the people buying a home in London in 2012-13 paid the 3 per cent rate of Stamp Duty or more. You can pay that rate on… Continue reading

89 Comments
David Gauk

Leaked letter shows ministers trying to calm tensions on marriage tax breaks

24 June 2013 12:57

Ministers are clearly mindful of the potential damage that Tim Loughton’s amendment to the Finance Bill calling for tax breaks for married couples could cause. This is one of those… Continue reading

2 Comments
Sir Edward Leigh

Marriage tax break revolt size could hinge on newly-knighted Sir Edward Leigh

21 June 2013 14:02

The 42 ‘Alternative Queen’s Speech’ bills laid by Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone are very useful for the Lib Dems, as they can use them to argue that this is… Continue reading

6 Comments
George Osborne and Ed Balls may find it's in their best interests to stay entirely silent on how they'd plug a black hole in the public finances after 2015. Picture: Getty

Mutually assured silence: a cross-party 2015 election strategy

7 June 2013 16:49

The Institute for Fiscal Studies gave one of its cheering presentations today on quite how miserable things are going to be for a good while longer. Today’s event was on… Continue reading

22 Comments
Image: Getty

The significance of Ed Balls’s speech, and what it means for Ukip

3 June 2013 15:03

Ed Balls’s speech today is significant for two reasons. First, it implied that a Labour government in 2015 would not spend more on current spending. But, rather, it would borrow… Continue reading

29 Comments
David Cameron with Google boss Eric Schmidt. Picture: Getty

Cameron leaves the goal open for Clegg and Miliband on tax avoidance

22 May 2013 15:35

It’s fashionable to say Downing Street isn’t very good at strategy. So fashionable, in fact, that sometimes journalists worry they’re being unfair to the Tory leadership. But today we saw… Continue reading

25 Comments
Apple To Report Quarterly Earnings

The West wants chunks of Apple

22 May 2013 11:01

Apple, the world’s friendliest technology company, stands accused of tax avoidance. The fashionable corners of Fleet Street, bless them, are appalled. Isn’t Apple supposed to be in the good business?… Continue reading

5 Comments
Google CEO Eric Schmidt arriving in Downing Street yesterday. Picture: Getty

Cameron’s tax tightrope

21 May 2013 9:25

David Cameron didn’t spend yesterday wringing his hands in Downing Street about the progress of his gay marriage bill: he was meeting his business advisory group. He allowed Google CEO… Continue reading

54 Comments