NEF – Somewhere Between Ignorant And Insane

It was Giles Wilkes who pointed out that the New Economics Foundation is really Not Economics Frankly. A contention nicely proven by the latest screed from the CEO of NEF.

The government’s fiscal rules, in effect, have been shot to pieces: rules that have been a centrepiece of successive budgets that have driven cuts in public spending for nearly a decade.

Tax as a percentage of GDP is higher now than it was under the Brown Terror.…

See More

Ghana’s Tax Mistake – Less On Cars, More On Telecoms

Ghana has just made a mistake with their taxation system. They’ve decided to abolish the supplementary tax on luxury cars while increasing the tax on telecoms services. Nope, wrong way to do it:

The government has increased the Communication Service Tax to nine per cent from the initial six per cent. Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the increment in parliament on Monday, 29 July 2019 when he presented the mid-year budget review statement.

Mr Ofori-Atta told the lawmakers that: “The Communication Service Tax (CST) was introduced in 2008 at an ad valorem rate of six per cent.

See More

Dear Larry Elliott – What Race To The Bottom On Tax?

A line from Larry Elliott’s latest piece showing that of course the Tories are wrong on the economy:

Even so, the race to the bottom on tax is in some sense welcome.

If only we’d had such a race:

Tax to GDP

We have historically high taxes for the UK economy. More of everything goes through government than normal. So, what tax race to the bottom?

For a start, it validates the use of tax and spending as an economic tool.

See More

Why Does The Observer Think Taxpayers Should Build Fibreoptic?

That government has a hand in making sure that infrastructure is built seems sensible enough. They are, after all, the people who control the planning system that allows infrastructure to be built. But that government must build it? Why?

Consider, for a moment. Whether a motorway, where it goes if there is to be one, OK, why not government? But there’s nothing which says that it should be government workers wielding the spades. Or, say, government has a role in regulating the spectrum over which mobile internet signals travel.…

See More

Grandpa Jez And The TJN Terribly Confused About Amazon’s Tax Payments

Jeremy Corbyn has sent Amazon a 25th birthday card insisting that it should be paying more tax in the UK. He’s also insisting that it should be paying the staff more. Can’t really be both now, can it? If you pay the staff more then there are fewer profits to pay tax upon. The Tax Justice Network gets even more confused on the issue.

Amazon UK paid only £1.7m in corporation tax in 2017, its most recent annual public filing at Companies House, as pre-tax profits tripled to £72m.

See More

Making And Selling Coca Cola Is A Sin Says The Senior Lecturer

A gentleman who is soon to be unemployed as an economics professor tells us that the production and sale of Coca Cola is a sin:

If sin such a terrible thing when it comes in the form a can of Coke? Well, yes it is when the planet cannot afford that waste of resources, the product is laden with anti-competitive protections and potential tax loopholes, and it happens to have contributed to substantial increases in childhood (and other) obesity.

See More

Facebook Makes Profits From Our Data – So, Let’s Steal The Money

The latest proposal from the fertile minds on the left of the American political spectrum is that since Facebook makes money out of us we should go steal that money. Well, what do we expect from people on the left?

There being the occasional problem with the analysis of course:

For a general sense of the value of people’s personal data to these companies, we started with digital advertising revenue. In 2018, Facebook earned an average of roughly $110 in ad revenue per American user.

See More

Rich People Demand They Are Taxed More – And Fail To Pay More Tax Voluntarily

A certain group of rich people over in the United States has demanded that there be a wealth tax. That they themselves should be taxed more.

OK, so maybe there are arguments that there should be a wealth tax – there aren’t any good economic ones but that’s another matter. Maybe those very rich should be paying more in tax – that not actually being the argument against their doing so. The argument against is that the process of getting rich benefits the consumer therefore we don’t want to dissuade people from attempting to get rich.…

See More

Is the BBC Worth The Money?

The BBC will no longer be free to pensioners, they will soon need to pay the £155 a year Licence Fee that every other household pays.

That the licence fee is a tax should be obvious. Everyone has to pay it, you don’t get anything you specifically want for it and it is a criminal offence not to pay it. As a flat rate tax it is also a bad tax. It hits the poorer harder than the rich, and collection costs run a touch over 2% of revenue collected.…

See More

Exactly 14 People Believe UK Taxes Are Too Low, By Exactly £11,069

There are many people who tell us that taxation in the UK is too low. Just think of all the gorgeously bureaucratic things that could be done if only the government had more money! Then there’s the number of people who actually do pay more tax on the basis that they think the government should have more money. The second being a rather smaller number than the first.

Which does bring us to that basic point that economists do insist upon making.…

See More