The Spectator

Barometer | 9 November 2017

Also in Barometer: the terrible toll of Latin American gun deaths

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Pennies from haven

Last week’s huge leak of the ‘Paradise Papers’ has put the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in the spotlight. But the original tax haven was actually New Jersey, not Jersey.

— New Jersey was struggling financially in the 1880s until governor Leon Abbett liberalised the state’s incorporation laws. This persuaded many companies to set up there rather than in New York, where they were doing business.

— In return, New Jersey charged a franchise tax. It has since lost its status as a tax haven, but it was copied by neighbouring Delaware, which still hosts the corporate HQs of many US companies.

Shooting stars

With 3.65 gun deaths per 100,000 population in 2016, how does the United States compare internationally?

Lowest

Singapore

0.03

Japan

0.04

South Korea

0.05

China

0.06

UK

0.07

Highest

El Salvador

40.29

Venezuela

34.77

Guatemala

26.81

Colombia

25.94

Honduras

20.56

Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Lost profits

When corporations shift their profits for tax purposes, which G7 nations lose the most in terms of GDP percentage?

US

1.66%

Japan

1.37%

France

1.06%

Germany

0.61%

Italy

0.38%

Canada

0.27%

UK

0.06%

The countries which have made the biggest losses worldwide are Guyana and Chad (both 8.05%). Those making the most from profit-shifting are Cyprus (1.3%), the Kyrgyz Republic (1.32%) and Macedonia (1.32%).

Source: UN World Institute for Development Economics Research, using IMF data

Linked in

The Chancellor is under pressure to halt a scheduled 3.9 per cent rise in business rates, which are linked to the Retail Prices Index. RPI generally runs higher than the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). What is linked to each one?

CPI: Most state benefits (when not frozen); state pension (one of the guarantees in the ‘triple lock’); public sector pensions;

tax thresholds.

RPI: Student loans; inflation-linked gilts; business rates; most remaining private sector ‘defined benefit’ pension schemes.