The Economics of Tax Competition

In The Economics of Tax Competition – Harmonization vs. Liberalization Daniel J. Mitchell argues that the arguments surrounding tax competition are ultimately a debate about the size of government. Harmonization means higher tax rates and bigger government: freed from the rigour of competition, politicians would cater to special interests and resist fiscal reforms. By contrast, tax competition provides a much-needed check on the growth of government, and encourages pro-growth tax reform.

 

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Tax Competition

In Tax Competition – How tax havens help the poor Richard Teather argues that tax competition brings benefits to all of society, not just to those that directly take advantage of it. By encouraging lower taxes and allowing greater efficiency in capital markets, tax competition encourages economic growth, the benefits of which often fall to the least well off. The unemployed are more able to find jobs as the economy expands, while low-paid jobs are made more productive (and therefore valuable) by increased investment.

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Knaves and Fawkes

In Knaves and Fawkes: Should we reform Parliament or just blow it up? Tim Ambler and Keith Boyfield argue that Parliament should re-assert its role as the UK's primary legislative authority and as the place where ministers  are called to account. They suggest that parliamentary time should be better allocated so as to give better attention to EU legislation and legislative statutory instruments, and that all regulators should be accountable to House of Commons select committees, not the government. Under their plans, the overall number of MPs would be reduced, but new "assistant MPs" would be empowered to deal directly with government departments on behalf of MPs' constituents.

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Credit Crunch: The anatomy of a crisis

Published one year on from the part-nationalizations of Lloyds-HBOS and RBS, this report by John Redwood MP pins the blame for the financial crisis squarely on bad monetary policy from the Bank of England and misguided regulation and inadequate crisis management by the UK government . Redwood attacks the notion that the UK economy was well run in the period leading up to the crisis, and that its problems were imported from the US, making clear that while Britain's crisis may have had much in common with America's, it was in fact very much home grown. In addition to analyzing the financial crisis and its causes, Redwood also makes a series of recommendations for the future of the banking sector, as well the broader economic policies of the next government.

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Cure or disease? The unintended consequences of regulation

Released to coincide with a seminar event at the Conservative Party Conference on 7 October 2009, this paper from Keith Boyfield argues that while Governments and regulators invariably claim that regulations are introduced for the most laudable of reasons, regulations often have unforeseen and highly damaging consequences. This paper discusses some striking examples of this trend across a spectrum of business and social sectors, ranging from banking and finance to health and safety regulations.

 

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Good money after bad?

In Good Money after Bad?, Keith Boyfield analyses the efficacy and drawbacks of EU regional aid. Among other things, Boyfield recommends that the system for allocating structural funds to the regions of the EU be changed, and member states should take over responsibility for allocating any regional development aid, according to the principle of subsidiarity.

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Regulatory Corporatism

In 'Regulatory Corporatism: Lord Turner and the Tobin Tax' financial analyst Miles Saltiel attacks the idea of a 'Tobin tax' on financial transactions, calling it "misguided", "unfounded" and "incoherent". As well as being unrealistic – such a tax could only be implemented after widespread international agreement – Saltiel says the Tobin tax is a distraction from the reforms the financial sector really needs. Indeed, by guaranteeing government a bigger slice of banks' profits, it would encourage politicians to accept the too-big-to-fail, near-monopolies that have emerged in the banking sector over the last economic cycle.

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Ten Economic Priorities

'Ten Economic Priorities: An agenda for an incoming government' argues that significant real terms cuts in government spending are essential if the UK is to balance its books and stave off bankruptcy, and calls on an incoming government to draw up a "Medium Term Financial Strategy" to restore stability and reassure investors. The next government should also commit to tax cuts once the public finances are under control, focusing on income tax, national insurance and corporation tax. This report also covers sound money, privatization, public sector pensions, PFI, public procurement, bank supervision, and the Asset Protection Scheme. 

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Financial Regulation

Financial Regulation: What is the best solution for the EU? responds to the EU consultation papers Communication from the Commission, European financial supervision, and the accompanying Impact Assessment. The authors also outline their own proposals for the future of EU financial regulation.

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Re-energizing Britain

In Re-energizing Britain Nigel Hawkins warns the UK faces blackouts unless the six major energy companies invest. New nuclear plant should be encouraged by replacing the existing Renewables Obligation with a new Low Carbon Obligation, which would include nuclear power. The three key aims of energy policy – security of supply, reduced carbon emissions, and lower prices – would all benefit from this change, since nuclear energy is both low-carbon and less expensive than many other ways of generating electricity, and does not depend on risky supplies of gas from Russia. The government also needs to work with the energy companies to make sure that they have both planning approval and access to finance to increase Britain's gas storage facilities substantially. The UK has only one-tenth of the gas storage of Germany, and is dangerously exposed to interruptions in supply.

 

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