How we got here – and where we’re going

20 October 2010 11:08

With the Spending Review less than two hours away, I thought CoffeeHousers might like to be armed with a few graphs that set the scene. What follows is by no… Continue reading


Alan Johnson’s economic gamble

18 October 2010 11:45

The most shameless line of Alan Johnson’s big speech came at the beginning. "Being in opposition does not mean pretending to be in government," he averred, "we will not be… Continue reading


Clegg sweetens the pill with a fairness premium

15 October 2010 9:07

Only five days to go until the spending review – and after weeks of emphasis on the cuts we’re about to see, the government has today unveiled a new spending… Continue reading


Osborne vs Upper-Class* Subsidy Junkies

4 October 2010 11:43

Fraser is quite right: it is absurd that higher-rate tax-payers are paid child benefit. Ben Brogan is also right to note – though of course he uses some pretty extreme… Continue reading


Cameron neglects to mention his tax cut for the middle classes

25 September 2010 11:57

David Cameron’s interview in the Telegraph this morning is striking for three reasons. First, despite the interview appearing on the day of the Labour leadership declaration, there’s no attempt to… Continue reading


Alexander’s arguments

19 September 2010 13:47

Danny Alexander’s announcement of a £900 million clampdown on tax avoidance, evasion and fraud is designed to reassure Lib Dems that the coalition’s policies are fair, that it isn’t balancing… Continue reading


Politician of the Year

3 September 2010 4:05

Andrew Stuttaford says Alexei Kudrin is Finance Minister of the year but, surely, that understates matters? Russia’s finance minister has told people to smoke and drink more, explaining that higher… Continue reading


Cameron devolves the tricky issue of alcohol pricing

12 August 2010 9:39

Politicians often get nervous around alcohol – and not just because, in these straitened times, a glass of champagne can broadcast the wrong image. No, the real concern is the… Continue reading


The FCO’s dubious Prevent grants

6 August 2010 14:06

A few weeks ago I wrote for Coffee House welcoming the Government’s decision to scrap Prevent grants administered by local authorities. In that article, I cautioned that scrapping something should… Continue reading


George Osborne must put spending cuts ahead of tax rises

22 June 2010 11:20

In 2009, Britain borrowed more, as a share of its national income, than any country that isn’t being bailed out by the IMF and the Eurozone (Greece) or already making… Continue reading


The two sides of the VAT question

21 June 2010 15:07

There are two main aspects to the VAT issue: one distasteful, the other less so.  The distasteful one is the issue of whether the government has a mandate for hiking… Continue reading


Lord Ashcroft clarifies a few things

19 June 2010 11:56

After all the hoo-haa about Lord Ashcroft’s tax status, it’s only fair to mention this passage from his interview with the Telegraph today: "He explains that new laws brought in… Continue reading


To increase capital gains revenues cut rates, don’t increase them

27 May 2010 11:14

To address the deficit, George Osborne will probably have to raise taxes. This is a grim truth to which most people are reconciled. But raising taxes and raising revenue are… Continue reading


Cameron’s public debate with his backbenchers

27 May 2010 9:15

So, did Cameron say anything particularly noteworthy during his interview on the Today programme?  In truth, not really.  Most of the answers were of the "let’s wait and see what… Continue reading


Mind the culture gap

19 May 2010 11:19

Danny Finkelstein’s column this morning is one of the most important things to have been written since the coalition was formed. Danny makes the point that the coalition has no… Continue reading


Let’s Talk About Tax

8 May 2010 23:09

We know that europe and perhaps electoral reform will be difficult for the Tories and Lib Dems to agree upon. So let’s talk about something else: tax. Cameron’s email to… Continue reading


The Lib Dems’ turn to convince?

14 April 2010 9:04

So now it’s the Lib Dems’ turn to present their prospectus for the country.  And, in some respects, I expect they’ll want a fairly uneventful day.  They have, after all,… Continue reading


Will Labour’s manifesto mean the end of VAT attacks on the Tories?

12 April 2010 9:07

You know it’s the day you’ve all been waiting for, CoffeeHousers – the day of Labour’s manifesto launch.  Last Thursday, Douglas Alexander described the document as a "progressive programme worthy… Continue reading


Even Cable can’t defend the Lib Dems’ misleading poster

11 April 2010 16:35

This poster by the LibDems is perhaps the most dishonest one of the campaign so far – and Vince Cable has pretty well admitted it to Jon Sopel on the… Continue reading


The Times is wrong about the Tories’ marriage tax break

10 April 2010 17:53

Since The Times moved its leaders on to page two, they’ve also taken on a new vitality. For years, they were the voice of solid good sense. It was pretty… Continue reading


The case for voting Conservative

10 April 2010 12:26

Why vote for Cameron? The reasons for voting against Gordon Brown are so numerous that the positive pro-Tory reasons for voting are often lost. This week’s Spectator gives you all… Continue reading


How Labour and the Lib Dems are attacking the Tories’ marriage tax break

10 April 2010 10:27

This morning, we’ve already seen the two primary attacks which will be used against the marriage tax break outlined by George Osborne in the Times today.  The first came courtesy… Continue reading


Tories remain on the front foot over national insurance

9 April 2010 18:28

A copy of a letter that George Osborne sent to Alistair Darling today: Alistair Darling The Labour Party 39 Victoria Street London   SW1H 0HA 9 April 2010 Dear Alistair, In… Continue reading


Labour’s high risk, high reward strategy on national insurance

8 April 2010 20:02

Labour today has tried to shift the National Insurance debate from whether you should cut waste to prevent a tax rise, to whether the Tories’ sums add up. When the… Continue reading


The VAT dividing line is growing deeper

8 April 2010 19:29

Is this a pledge we can count on?  After the Lib Dems suggested they wouldn’t increase VAT earlier, the Labour Chief Whip has told ITV’s Lucy Manning that his party… Continue reading