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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 seemed to be quite keen to get the thing over… Continue reading

64 Comments
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. It shows David Cameron and Nick Clegg as two peas-in-a-pod… Continue reading

22 Comments
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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, all people see is the shop charging them a higher… Continue reading

19 Comments
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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 it up perfectly. It does, of course, make the case… Continue reading

29 Comments

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 items perceived to be enjoyed chiefly by the working-class is… Continue reading

8 Comments
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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 by the Budget for Cornish pasties and static caravans are… Continue reading

42 Comments
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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 ended — pushing the national debt up to £1.02 trillion.… Continue reading

14 Comments

Pasty wars

28 March 2012 15:35

David Cameron earlier: And Labour’s response:

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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 his longstanding and cynical campaign to cut VAT. Under the… Continue reading

29 Comments
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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 thought that the economy was on the right track. When… Continue reading

14 Comments

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 being fined £500 for failing to pay £25,000 of VAT… Continue reading

15 Comments

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 ask only because they’re really pushing the double-act shtick today.… Continue reading

17 Comments

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 the Tories and a bit of class warfare from this… Continue reading

37 Comments

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’s poll for the Sunday Times today. It asks people about individual policies for growth, and the results… Continue reading

34 Comments

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 food prices could relieve the pressure on the Bank of… Continue reading

27 Comments

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 rather than public spending. The argument goes that large companies… Continue reading

26 Comments

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 credibility with a ferocious sort of glee. Perhaps the best… Continue reading

39 Comments

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 attack over rising prices. In an interview with the Sunday… Continue reading

36 Comments

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” on the upside – the CPI index stood at 3.7… Continue reading

78 Comments

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 wish they would just say so – rather than go… Continue reading

28 Comments

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 have lifted prices by 2.1 percent – but shopkeepers over… Continue reading

39 Comments

The VAT argument bubbles along

4 January 2011 19:28

Today has been one of predictable political sparring over the VAT increase. But, as one Tory MP said to me last night, the crucial question is how long people keep… Continue reading

20 Comments

The Tories turn their fire on ‘lamentable’ Johnson

4 January 2011 16:37

Come back, you insufferable relatives, all is forgiven: the political class has devoted an afternoon to trading insults about who said what about VAT and when. However, there have been… Continue reading

7 Comments

There is no reason to raise VAT

4 January 2011 13:39

It is very clear that the government cannot carry on borrowing at current rates and the coalition’s proposals for reducing government borrowing are prudent. However, today’s VAT rise is unnecessary.… Continue reading

31 Comments

Osborne and Johnson battle over the new tax divide

4 January 2011 9:14

Now here’s a thing: a radio appearance by Alan Johnson that actually clarified some details about Labour’s economic policy in the Miliband era. Sure, the shadow chancellor spent most of… Continue reading

22 Comments