Taxation & Tax reform Archives - Page 4 of 4 - Emile Woolf writes

Behind the words, public sector waste lies hidden

Whose analyses, explanations or remedies can you trust? One of the most valuable insights to be gleaned from a pukka crisis is how inexpert the experts are. It was Irving Fisher, the great Professor of Economics at Yale University, who declared: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” He said that […]

Read More…

Economic and accounting theory provide no answers if they ignore reality

If ever there was a time for questioning, this is it. How did the collapse of credit and its ensuing crisis creep up so suddenly on the most sophisticated, best informed, global financial community in history? What are its lessons? Do all the frantic short-term expedients provide real solutions? Or will they generate their own […]

Read More…

The cycle of litigation – be warned

Litigation warning – remember the cycle!  The pattern of litigation tends to be cyclical since it shadows the economic cycle. When there is general prosperity and businesses flourish there is still plenty of litigation (when is there not?) but its character reflects boom-time activity. Businesses buy other businesses and then claim that they overpaid. Although […]

Read More…

Bring back “substance over form” to overcome this accounting farce

When “true and fair” accounts disclose either favourable results that are factually unsupportable, or a position much worse than warranted due to an “accounting quirk”, with no bearing on actual performance, we are bound to wonder what is going on. Arbitrary losses may arise when a business is forced to separate its foreign exchange credits […]

Read More…

Public finances: tax rises are not the answer

Promises, promises….. New Labour’s pledges in three elections running included a commitment not to raise taxes. All three manifestos declared: “There will be no return to the penal tax rates that existed under Labour and Conservative governments in the 1970s. To encourage work and reward effort, we are pledged not to raise the basic or […]

Read More…

Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes

Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes By now the causes of the economic crisis, and the course of its swift global trajectory, have been explored ad nauseam. But while its bitter consequences are being experienced for a year or three there is much that governments can learn from enforced austerity. […]

Read More…

Over-taxed & over-regulated – that’s the reality, whatever they say

Few would disagree that UK business is both overtaxed and over-regulated.  Those at the sharp end know this, despite all the efforts of official statisticians and bureaucrats to tell us otherwise. The Treasury would have it that Britain is becoming more competitive and overtaking rival economies, whereas the CBI argues that higher taxes and obsessive […]

Read More…

Borrowers must face the reality of their choices

Since gaining its independence from the Treasury 10 years ago the Bank of England’s pledge to control inflation as its overriding priority has, until now, been visibly honoured and we have all benefited. Unlike the Treasury, however, the Bank’s sole weapon in fulfilling its mission is its autonomy over setting interest rates, and the present […]

Read More…

Desperate measures: if it moves, tax it

The purpose of taxation is to pay for the necessary expenditure of government.  Adam Smith spelt out the basics 200 years ago:  the manner in which taxes are raised and spent must be transparent, visible for all to see.   The journey from first principles to contemporary reality leads to a fiscal statute book of […]

Read More…

Principled taxation? No – it is not a contradiction in terms

Governments claim to base economic policies on principle, yet results often betray muddled guesswork. Principles have been established for centuries. It is senseless to impose a tax that renders a marginal business unviable – the yield from that business would be zero. Similarly, since tax rates of 0% or 100% yield no revenue it is […]

Read More…