Economic Myths #10 – Taxes Benefit “Us”


Whenever there is the appearance of some headline berating large corporations for arranging their affairs so as to pay as little tax as possible on profits earned in the UK, the indignation from the general public seems to centre on the belief that the “lost” state revenue was somehow a “lost” benefit to the average citizen. After all, won’t lower tax revenues result in fewer hospitals and worse schools? Such was the fury greeting the news, on August 3rd of this year, that Amazon UK’s tax bill fell from its 2017 figure of £7.4m to just £1.7m in spite of pre-tax profits having almost trebled.

Unfortunately for libertarians, tax avoidance (together with the deliberate blurring of the legal and moral distinction between that concept and that of tax evasion) has become a favourite topic of heavily indebted governments as they attempt to balance their books without reducing their profligate spending. Continue reading

A quick response to Mr. Osborne’s Emergency Budget


Christopher Houseman

This tough austerity budget, in which everyone will bear the pain together, has everyone at the BBC prattling on about the projected 25pc departmental spending cuts.

Apparently, everyone’s forgotten George Osborne’s admission that, because of his refusal to cut capital spending projects, overall Government expenditure is set to rise from £637bn to £711bn over the five-year term – a mere £74bn increase (that’s well over 11.5pc).

Wow! What a sacrifice by the State. Imagine how much more Government would have awarded itself if we weren’t in a recession.

I further note that, as indicated beforehand by David Cameron, some Government departments are more equal than others. Spending at the Department of Health (doh!) and the Department for Overseas Bribery Development won’t be cut. I guess the coalition Government needs to keep renting votes in the North-East and the UN General Assembly, and Big Business needs some more taxpayer-oiled overseas contracts in the “Developing” World.

Clobbered: middle England (esp. those on household incomes of £40-60k), anyone on State “benefits”, anyone planning a big ticket purchase in the New Year (when VAT will rise from 17.5pc to 20pc)

Pseudo-clobbered: the rich (28pc CGT is still less than the top rate of 40pc income tax, so that loophole remains cost effective), the banks (surely the new bank tax won’t be passed on to customers in the form of higher charges – will it?)

Encouraged: Some small business owners (various breaks relating to entrepreneurs’ CGT, NI breaks for SME’s outside London and the South East).

Overall: Open for (Big) Business as Usual.