Alistair Darling Poses Before Leaving To Give His First Budget Speech

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

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

Alistair Darling Poses Before Leaving To Give His First Budget Speech

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

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

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

‘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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cameron leaving the Leveson Inquiry after giving evidence in June. Today he pulled the plug on cross-party talks on the future of press regulation. Picture: Getty

David Cameron and the married couple’s tax allowance

27 April 2013 12:38

The married couple’s tax allowance is back on the agenda. After Conservative Home’s exclusive yesterday, David Cameron has confirmed that he will introduce one before the end of this parliament.… Continue reading

nigel farage

About that UKIP tax policy…

26 April 2013 9:25

Nigel Farage was on Question Time again last night. This was hardly unusual, but what was interesting was that the UKIP leader U-turned on one of his flagship policies. When… Continue reading

David Cameron is apparently 'relaxed' about the idea of his tax affairs being published, so relaxed, in fact, that he doesn't seem to be doing much about it. Picture: Carla Millar

Tax transparency: Cameron says relax

15 April 2013 12:48

When dolphins hunt fish, they gang up on them as a school, chasing them into the shallows. So it happens at the daily lobby briefing: when a morsel of a… Continue reading