Dr Eamonn Butler takes a closer look at how free trade came about. He also explains how various forms of protectionism have undermined the success of free trade over the years and that if free trade is going to be at the forefront of economic policy leaders are going to have to be tough.
Ordinary people pay more IHT than the rich. The UK rate is far above the EU average, hitting much smaller estates. The tax is a powerful disincentive on saving, kills family businesses, is costly to collect, and destroys far more than it yields. If it did not exist, no rational person would propose it.
Freedom 101 is a personal refutation by Dr Madsen Pirie of many of the common errors of economic, political and social debate. He has selected 101 of these erroneous assumptions in order to show why they are not correct. Many of them are in daily circulation as if they were truisms. We are told that, 'the world is running out of scarce resources' or that, 'we should protect the poor by fixing the price of essential goods'. The author shows in his pithy style why these and other assumptions are incorrect. Of his selected 101, some are based on errors of fact, some on false arguments, and many of them on a misunderstanding of how economics works. This is a refreshing book, full of sharp insights to help readers clarify their own thoughts and equip them to bring that same clarity to aid the understanding of others in discussion and debate.
Excise duties on alcohol should be lowered and those on spirits should be cut most of all says St Andrews economist Dr Paul Haines. The report examines and challenges Treasury assumptions concerning the way in which consumption of alcohol reacts to price changes. Alcohol consumption doesn't rise indefinitely with increases in prosperity, and attempts to curb alcohol consumption by increases in excise duties will probably fail. Not only that but further increases only lead to an increase in smuggling. The recent rises relate to losses in the Treasury revenue whereas a freeze or reduction to more revenue. Dr Haines proposes a duty of £10 per litre of pure alcohol, an abolishment of the duty and VAT on Commonwealth importation of alcohol. We should have lower duties and equal duties.
The Government is overcautious about the risks not just from paedophiles but from all aspects of modern life.
Britain's tax funded health system is no longer the world's envy, but a quaint oddity. It will remain in financial crisis until we bring far more private spending on healthcare. Health costs cannot be met by taxation alone. The Institute highlights three areas where funding could be changed. The first is competing funds where 'NHS tax' contributions are paid into a number of 'social insurance funds' of their own choice. The second is charges where there should be co-payments for some minor services, as already happens in Europe. The third is cost, taking the responsibility for healthcare funding out of central government and handing it to private or non profit social insurance funds, will increase what we spend on healthcare.
This briefing by City analyst Miles Saltiel assesses the 2009 G20 Summit. It concludes that
Tom Clougherty responds to the spending review and argues that a mature reassessment of the welfare state is the only way we will avoid fiscal calamity.
People in good health should be able to get part of their taxes back and take the money to a private health insurer or company health plan, according to actuary and City University professor Philip Booth in a new report for ASI. This would give patients better choice, driving down costs and driving up quality as new healthcare providers bid for their custom.