In 'Re-Booting Government: How to deal with the deficit without cutting vital services', Dr Eamonn Butler argues that reducing deficits and debt is essential. Debt imposes a large interest-payments tax on citizens, limits the options open to governments, and it weakens political leaders both at home and abroad. But in the long run, a cheese-slicer approach to cutting spending is not going to be enough. We need to completely rethink the role of the state, what it does, and how it does it. In short, we need to reboot government.
This report reviews international evidence on the effect of capital gains tax rises on government revenues, finding that tax rises tend to decrease revenues while tax cuts tend to increase them. It suggests that aligning CGT rates with income tax, as the UK government has proposed, would significantly hit revenues and worsen the deficit, as well as discouraging much needed investment. It also refutes the idea that CGT is primarily a tax on the rich, suggesting instead that CGT hikes will hit ordinary families and – in particular – retirees. Finally, the report describes the idea that people can easily shift income to capital gains and thus avoid taxes as a theory in search of some evidence, pointing to numerous countries with high income taxes and low capital gains taxes where this does not seem to be problem.
In 'An international development policy that works: Why the Conservative Party should rethink its commitment to development aid' Sam Bowman argues that the UK Conservatives have failed to propose the radical policy overhaul needed to make the Department for International Development (DFID) an effective body. He suggests scrapping the pledge to spend 0.7% of national GDP on international development aid each year, and focusing instead on private donations, economic migration and unilateral tariff reduction.
- Introduction by Richard Wellings
- The importance of liberty by JC Lester
- How markets work by Eamonn Butler
- Free trade by Daniel Griswold
- Taxation and government spending by Daniel J. Mitchell
- Property rights by Karol Boudreaux
- Why government fails by Peter J. Boettke & Douglas B. Rogers
- Sex, drugs and liberty by John Meadowcroft
- Welfare without the state by Kristian Niemietz
- Banking, inflation and recessions by Anthony J. Evans
- The role of government by Stephen Davies