Tories go on tax offensive

6 April 2013 9:34

It’s 45p day in Westminster, and Ed Balls is trying to make the most of the end of a 50p rate his own party only imposed for a month or… Continue reading


Independent Scotland: neoliberal nirvana or Scandinavian paradise?

2 April 2013 13:37

So, an independent Scotland. Neoliberal nirvana or Scandinavian paradise? True, these are not the only choices available but as a useful shorthand for the size of the state and its… Continue reading

Community centre Botton village.

Council tax increases, but might councils spend more wisely?

1 April 2013 11:27

One development that IDS and George Osborne did not dwell upon in their Telegraph piece mentioned earlier was council tax, which, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is due to… Continue reading

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

Osborne and IDS promise a ‘better deal’ for working families. But a better deal is not necessarily a good deal

1 April 2013 10:36

As Fraser says, the welfare changes, cuts to legal aid and so forth, which have come into force today, have got a universal thumbs-down in the left-wing press. I expect… Continue reading

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

The Scottish Tories Cross Their Rubicon

26 March 2013 13:00

Alea iacta est. And not before time. More than a year ago and at the outbreak of this independence referendum virus I wrote an article for this magazine arguing that,… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Just cutting spending isn’t enough. Osborne needs to invest as well

21 March 2013 15:13

Economic growth for the next year is predicted to be lower than 1.0%. I can’t think, offhand, or a more obvious indication that the Chancellor is gripped by some sort… Continue reading

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Budget 2013: Ed Balls sticks to his favourite 50p attack

20 March 2013 17:49

Ed Balls has just given his post-Budget briefing in parliament. The striking thing about Balls, no matter how much you might disagree with him, is how much he relishes these… Continue reading


How the Treasury could sell its tax cuts to voters

19 March 2013 16:25

One of the big challenges for the government in tomorrow’s Budget is how well the Number 10 machine is able to sell some of the positive measures that George Osborne… Continue reading


Forget 50p — scrap the 60p tax rate

12 March 2013 14:50

Imagine if a Chancellor stood up and announced that those earning up to £100,000 would pay a 40p tax rate, those earning £100,000 to £112,950 will pay a 60p rate,… Continue reading

Defence Secretary Liam Fox Facing Inquiry Into Ministerial Conduct

Liam Fox shows David Cameron how to lead the Tories to a historic defeat

11 March 2013 15:27

I think it is fair to say that Dr Liam Fox has never been one of David Cameron’s chief chums. The former Defence Secretary has, as Paul Goodman notes, been… Continue reading

mansion tax

Lib Dems to hold mansion tax vote strategy meeting

9 March 2013 10:44

Will the Lib Dems support Labour’s mansion tax vote? Vince Cable praised his pet policy idea last night, telling Lib Dem activists that it was an effective way of the… Continue reading

Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne Visits Riverlight Development

Revolting, Panic-Stricken Tories are doing Ed Miliband's job for him

5 March 2013 13:24

Panic, once let loose, is hard to corral. And there seems to be plenty of panic on the Tory benches at Westminster. The Eastleigh by-election result, the stagnant economy and… Continue reading

The Adam Smith Institute predicted that if Vince Cable got his way and capital gains tax rates were increased to match income tax rates, the Treasury would not make anything out of it. Picture: Getty

The government must cut or even scrap capital gains tax

26 February 2013 18:42

When economists get things wrong– something rather easy, given the nature of their subject – they should admit that they got them wrong. Well, the Adam Smith Institute got it… Continue reading

Picture: Getty Images

Tinkering with tax isn’t enough

22 February 2013 15:04

Should the 10p tax rate be brought back? Should the top rate be higher, or lower? Can the personal allowance be raised further? Is a mansion tax a good idea?… Continue reading


Big Brother cash machine campaign costs nearly £100k

22 February 2013 11:00

Remember those menacing HMRC eyes that Fraser found staring out at him from a cashpoint last month? Well, it turns out they’re a pretty expensive pair of eyes. A Freedom… Continue reading


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

mansion tax

Lib Dems get worked up about a vote that doesn’t matter

20 February 2013 9:01

It seems I rather underestimated Labour when I said their forthcoming Opposition Day vote on the mansion tax would be boring and unlikely to attract any Lib Dem support. The… Continue reading

Jimmy Carr, another figure to face public wrath over his tax affairs, at a launch in a Starbucks in 2012. Picture: Getty

On tax policy, to govern is to maintain the status quo

19 February 2013 8:58

To govern is to choose, wise people like to say when talking about policies which annoy voters but which might make good sense. Today we have another example of what… Continue reading

British Finance Minister George Osborne

Mr Micawber Goes to the Treasury

18 February 2013 12:52

John Rentoul draws attention to a new ComRes poll that goes some way towards explaining George Osborne’s predicament when it comes to managing government finances. Put simply, the public is… Continue reading

mansion tax

The taxing question Labour can’t answer

17 February 2013 13:13

The details of Labour’s mansion tax proposal remain, to put it politely, sketchy. Here’s the exchange between Andrew Neil and Sadiq Khan on the Sunday Politics on how Labour would… Continue reading

Ed Miliband has announced he's going to force a Commons vote on the mansion tax. Picture: Getty

Labour’s mansion tax debate won’t be a crunch vote (or very interesting)

16 February 2013 10:59

So Labour is going to force a vote in the House of Commons on the mansion tax. It’s the key announcement trailed as part of Ed Miliband’s visit to Eastleigh… Continue reading

The Number 10 press machine doesn't normally make official pronouncements on speeches by Ed Miliband. Picture: Getty

No 10 attacks Miliband’s ‘admission of economic incompetence’

14 February 2013 13:18

Here’s an interesting thing: Number 10 has released a statement on Ed Miliband’s 10p tax rate pledge. The Downing Street press machine hasn’t been in the habit of doing this… Continue reading

Ed Miliband pledged to restore the 10p tax band. Picture: Carla Millar

Labour’s Valentine’s policy gimmick

14 February 2013 13:07

At long last, Ed Miliband delivered us a Valentine’s Day present that everyone in the political world has been waiting for: a new policy! And a tax policy at that!… Continue reading

Ed Miliband today pledged to restore the 10p tax band scrapped by Gordon Brown. Picture: Getty

Ed Miliband’s bold redistributive rebuke to Brown

14 February 2013 12:26

Those close to Ed Miliband stress that if elected, Labour will introduce a mansion tax to pay for the return of a 10p tax rate. I’m told that ‘short of… Continue reading

Ed Miliband

Miliband steals a march on Tory tax campaign

14 February 2013 11:12

Ed Miliband has just started his economy speech in Bedford, so as he gets underway, here’s a quick thought on his plan to reintroduce the 10p tax band. Doing this… Continue reading