A sugar tax is simply a tax on the poor

22 May 2015 16:41

Why is it that whenever anyone proposes a tax on the wealthy all hell breaks loose, but when someone proposes…

Image: Getty

A tax on sugar won’t work, as the shipwreck of the Danish ‘fat tax’ shows

22 May 2015 15:10

Bad ideas die hard in the world of ‘public health’, especially when the government can make money out of them.…


David Cameron’s VAT pledge spells disaster for Labour’s new poster campaign

25 March 2015 22:26

Ed Miliband had a disastrous PMQs today after the Labour leader claimed the Tories would raise VAT, only to have…

Toff? Or not Toff? Image: Getty

Is it really surprising that people think Ed Miliband is more of a toff than David Cameron?

25 March 2015 15:55

The most remarkable poll of the week was the one which suggested the British public find Ed Miliband more of…


The tricks being played over a VAT rise

9 December 2014 17:34

Today’s Treasury Questions was a bit odd, not least because neither George Osborne nor Ed Balls were there, so everyone…

Labour's VAT advert. Disappearing from the side of an advertising van near you soon.

Labour’s VAT attack misses the mark – you don’t pay it on food

9 May 2014 16:51

Labour has a long, hard slog to win arrest the public’s loss of faith in its economic competence. The party’s latest advert hasn’t helped.…


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,…


How did it all get so complicated?

30 May 2012 12:03

Further to Pete’s blog on the new rules about pasties and VAT, the below graphic from today’s City AM sums…

Weak, Weak, Weak

29 May 2012 10:57

So the government is appeasing pie-eaters today. And caravan owners. In one sense this is unsurprising since increasing taxes on…


The coalition rows back on the Budget’s VAT changes

28 May 2012 21:20

No government likes to u-turn, and particularly not on a Budget measure. So, tonight’s changes to the VAT regime proposed…


The state of the public finances

24 April 2012 12:28

£126 billion. As we discover today, that’s how much the government borrowed in 2011-12 — the fiscal year that’s just…

Pasty wars

28 March 2012 15:35

David Cameron earlier: And Labour’s response:


Balls the tax-cutter?

19 February 2012 12:46

‘Balls urges tax cuts’, we’re told. Has he had a Damascene moment? Has the borrowed penny dropped? Nope, this is…


Inflation falls as the VAT rise drops out

14 February 2012 11:18

Late last year, the Tory party’s brains trust found that the inflation numbers corresponded directly to whether or not people…

Cable’s latest embarrassment

26 October 2011 11:17

“None of this will stop me talking out against tax avoidance.” So says Vince Cable, rather hilariously, in response to…

Miliband and Balls, in tandem

13 October 2011 17:35

So, CoffeeHousers, are Eds Balls and Miliband a gruesome twosome or the most sparkling partnership since Torvill and Dean? I…

It’s not Brown, it’s Balls

26 September 2011 13:26

Ed Balls’s speech to Labour conference just now was a typically Ballsian performance. There was intellectual aggression, dividing lines with…

Balls has the public on his side when it comes to a VAT cut

31 July 2011 15:54

There are few more useful addendums to Danny Alexander’s comments earlier than YouGov’spoll for the Sunday Times today. It asks…

The growing need for a policy response to the ‘new inflation’

31 May 2011 18:22

There’s been much debate on these pages about the political implications of higher inflation. Ironically, this morning’s news of record…

Here’s how Osborne should reduce the tax gap

21 March 2011 19:02

Some commentators have argued that the right way to reduce the deficit is to take on large scale tax avoidance…

Osborne goes on the offensive

1 March 2011 9:00

Attack, attack, attack. That’s the temper of George Osborne’s article for the Guardian this morning, which sets about Labour’s economic…

Labour sets about warning of a "cost of living crisis"

27 February 2011 13:32

Ed Balls has been warming up to this one for a while, and now it has finally come: an all-out…

The inflation crisis deepens

18 January 2011 10:33

How big does inflation have to get before our politicians admit that it’s a problem? Once again, it has “surprised”…

King’s inflation nation

13 January 2011 12:14

If Mervyn King and his team are trying to deal with Britain’s debt crisis by letting inflation rip, I do…

King’s ransom

7 January 2011 9:36

How much bigger does Britain’s inflation have to become before Mervyn King realises it’s a problem? The VAT rise should…