Head of Research at the ASI, Ben Southwood, discussed corporation tax and the possibility of replacing it with a sales tax on the Today programme. Ben argues that this would be a less distortionary way to charge firms tax.
Ben Southwood, head of research at the ASI, took part in an interview on BBC 5 Live where he talked about corporation tax and Google’s agreement to pay £130million of tax in the UK. He argues what they’re doing is perfectly legitimate:
I don’t think there’s a strong case at all that Google has paid a wrong amount.
Listen to the full interview here. (Starts 12:48)
Sam Bowman, Executive Director at the ASI, wrote an article for the Londonist discussing the need to develop more than just brownfield sites, in order to meet the demand for housing in the UK.
At the margin, brownfield can be part of the mix but the idea that it can provide the land for all or even most of our needs is fairly muddled. Brownfield can be costly and sometimes less environmentally friendly to build on than greenfield. Brownfield sites often aren’t in the right places. And the brownfield that is suitable for development is already being developed.
Executive director at the ASI, Sam Bowman, wrote for the IBTimes on the drawbacks of preferentially buying British good and services.
Public spending should not be a jobs programme, it should be about providing specific services. Buying British, of course, really means ‘buying British when a cheaper and/or better foreign alternative exists’. So given limited resources, buying British means either an inferior product or less money to spend elsewhere. That means that Buying British is a transfer from taxpayers and the users of public services to whichever manufacturers have the loudest lobbyists.
Head of Research at the ASI, Ben Southwood, discusses the £130 million in corporation tax that Google has agreed to pay, and what the potential benefits are of scrapping the tax altogether:
Investment – into tools, infrastructure, skills, and better organisation – is what makes us more productive. Higher productivity means more goods to go around and higher living standards. Most economists, across the ideological spectrum, agree that capital should ideally not be taxed at all; in fact the result most convincingly showing this is the “Atkinson-Stiglitz theorem”, after famously progressive Anthony Atkinson and Joseph Stiglitz. Corporation tax flies in the face of this, reducing returns and hence disincentivising investment.