Because the flat tax is paid on all income above that threshold, the rate can be very low. It ranges between 13% and 33%. The low rate encourages payment. There are no tax loopholes, nor the need for them, given the low rate. Instead of paying accountants to shelter income and move it offshore, people find it cheaper just to pay the tax. And a low rate makes it more worthwhile to earn more, which brings economic expansion.
A flat tax is simple, letting people understand their obligations. It is fairer, with low earners paying nothing and the rich paying their due. And it unleashes all the talent and enterprise being held back by a devious and complex system.
The public forest estate no longer serves a public purpose. It occupies 10% of the area of Great Britain and over 15% of the rural area of mainland Scotland. All of this is outside local control. Over the last eighty years the national forest policy has been a complete failure and the Forestry Commission is to blame. There has been no return on investment, no commercial value and worst has failed to deliver on any of its objectives. The authors claim that the public forest estate should be freed from government constraints and protection. The woodlands should be returned gratis to the residents of the communities of which they could then become part.
Miles Saltiel is an investment banker with experience of the privatizations of Eastern Europe. Allan Stewart MP is a former Minister of State at the Scottish Office.
Here's an interesting statistic: Our dear government is spending our money at the rate of £9.57 per hour for every working man and woman in Britain*. That's twice the National Minimum Wage. Think of it, a burger-flipper earns £4.50 per hour and Gordon spends a further £9.57. A dear government indeed. But do not despair, the Tories have promised to bring that down to £9.11 per hour by 2006**. Hooray for them.
The government’s failure to stimulate free school supply has major implications for its overall programme of market expansion, argues James Croft.
Jamie Whyte is a management consultant and former lecturer in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. This collection of his best columns for newspapers including The Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times captures his entertaining, thought-provoking style. Whyte is primarily concerned with the relationship between the state and individuals: invariably arguing that politicians should back off and leave us to make decisions for ourselves.
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.