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.
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.
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The fundamental problem lies with the way education is delivered. The aim of this short paper is to show that there are tried and tested alternatives around the world. They bring in delivery mechanisms that are responsive to what parents and students require, meet the needs of all, including the most disadvantaged, and succeed in raising educational standards. These are market approaches to education. But moving towards these alternatives need not be a party-political issue: the values that underlie them fit in with the emphases of the current Labour government as much as with the Conservatives' concern with freedom and choice.
Tim Ambler of the London Business School says that up to £1bn a year is being wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy in the research councils - and that we would get better science at less cost by allocating the research budget directly to universities.