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Today, Tax Freedom day


The Telegraph reports Today is ‘tax freedom’ day: Employees start to see their earnings go into their own pockets rather than to the Government from Thursday, low-tax campaigners said. The Adam Smith Institute declared May 30 “Tax Freedom Day” – a day later than last year and the latest it has fallen in the calendar since 2006. Tory MP Steve Baker said it showed the “shocking truth about taxes and overspending”. “This doomsday machine of deficit spending, debt and currency […]

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Bank of England’s Haldane endorses concerns on bogus bank accounting


The Bank of England’s Executive Director Financial Stability, Andy Haldane, has set out the case for banks to be held to different accounting standards because the existing rules have may allowed banks to overstate their profits and exacerbate their losses. This is something I covered in a private members’ bill last year, with particular reference to derivatives. As reported in the Guardian: Accounting rules for banks have bent with the financial stability wind in ways which have amplified investor and […]

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How banks unjustly inflate profits, boost capital and pay unearned bonuses


Yesterday in Parliament, I chaired an event with Gordon Kerr, launching his report The Law of Opposites, which is covered in the Guardian today: Banks use accounting loopholes to inflate their profits and bolster staff bonuses, according to a report published on Wednesday that calls for changes to the international accounting rules. According to the paper by the Adam Smith Institute, banks are able to use complex financial products such as credit default swaps to report profits that they might […]

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Tax Freedom Day 2011


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Today is Tax Freedom Day – the first day of the calendar year that Britons stop working for the state and start working for themselves. This year, we’ve worked for a full 5 months this year to pay their taxes, with every penny earned in the UK between January 1 and May 29 taken by the taxman to support government expenditure. via Tax Freedom Day 2011.

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Government should be banned from borrowing


For a very long time, it has seemed perfectly natural that governments could and should borrow – to finance expensive wars or infrastructure projects, for example. Keynesian economists saw the occasional deficit as an important way of managing the economy. But once you give politicians the power to borrow, a huge moral hazard arises. It becomes just too tempting, and too easy, to borrow for the purposes of current consumption, rather than future benefit. More expensive schools, rising healthcare standards, […]

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