Matthew Sinclair

How corporation tax cuts are helping wages

Yesterday’s autumn statement included the results of the Treasury’s study of the dynamic impacts of the cuts to Corporation Tax, which George Osborne is down from 28 per cent to 20 per cent. This study used the new HMRC Computable General Equilibrium model – as Fraser reported on Wednesday – and the results are impressive.

Energy special: The green jobs myth

Tim Yeo MP called his proposal for yet another draconian target to decarbonise Britain’s power sector the ‘green jobs amendment’. It was defeated last week by 290 votes to 267. One sweeping new regulation was apparently enough for the day as the Commons settled for casually renationalising the energy sector by passing the government’s bill.

Why no conservative should support a mansion tax

The Government is expected to raise around £550 billion in tax revenue this financial year. The Centre for Policy Studies estimates that a mansion tax (of £20,000 on properties of £2 million), would raise at most £1 billion, less than 0.2 per cent of revenue. The tax is, however, likely to weaken the market and

Why do-gooding ‘sin taxes’ always stink of politics

Nutella may have been created by Italians, but it is the French who really love it. The hazelnut spread is a fantastically popular accompaniment for everything from bread for breakfast to crêpes for a delicious dessert. Yet the French Senate, in its infinite wisdom, decided that Nutella should be taxed. The proposal was voted through

Why George Osborne had to kill the mansion tax

This morning the Mail on Sunday reported that George Osborne has promised there will be no mansion tax, no wealth tax and the council tax freeze will be extended. Homeowners are safe for now, but why has Osborne made that call? It might be something to do with a past Conservative Party Conference back in

The problem with George Osborne’s debt target

Q: Why will George Osborne miss his debt target? A: The Government is spending a lot more money than it is taking in taxes. Q: Why is the Government spending a lot more than it is taking in taxes? A: Jonathan Jones answered this one yesterday. In short: disappointing growth means that debt needs to

Promoting tax transparency at the petrol pumps

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 price. That is convenient for politicians trying to hike our taxes, but it distorts democratic decisions over the level of taxes and spending, and which

The Treasury sides with the consumer over climate policy

Tim Yeo is now posing as a friend of the consumer. Launching the latest report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee this morning, he attacked the Treasury for ‘refusing to back new contracts to deliver investment in nuclear, wind, wave and carbon capture and storage’. The report argues that could ‘impose unnecessary costs on consumers’. The

End the #endfossilfuelsubsidies subsidy

The European Union has been handing out grants to environmentalist groups since 1997. New research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance today shows just how much the different groups have received. The European Environmental Bureau, an umbrella group for a number of the others who are funded directly, has received nearly €11 million. More familiar names funded

What fossil fuel subsidies?

The environmental movement hasn’t responded well to the setbacks it has suffered seen since the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference.  The #endfossilfuelsubsidies campaign — trending worldwide on Twitter this morning — is the latest example of their descent. To be clear, fossil fuel subsidies are not a good idea; that is why governments like

Stop funding Argentina

One of the justifications for Britain’s large, and rapidly growing, international development budget is that it promotes our national interests. Politicians are wary of appealing to a public sceptical of the benefits of aid purely on the basis that it will help where it is spent. The idea is that by supporting poorer countries we

The deeper problem behind Europe’s rising carbon emissions

The Government takes a lot of stick for blaming the weather when there are queues at airports or lacklustre growth figures. Now the European Union is blaming a ‘colder winter’, as well as ‘economic recovery in many countries’, for emissions in 2010 being 111 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent higher – about 2.4 per cent –than

We need a crack down on tax avoidance

After the Budget there was a lot of anger over the pasty tax and the granny tax. Another big rise — in tobacco taxes — didn’t make as many headlines, because it wasn’t much of a surprise. But for someone smoking a pack a day it almost wiped out the entire value of the rise

Why property tax rises aren’t the answer

When Tim Montgomerie first started calling for new wealth taxes I was horrified. Sweden has only just abolished its wealth tax after seeing hundreds of billions of kroner leave the country in capital flight over a number of years. Other countries have found wealth taxes are associated with narrow bases, high costs of collection and