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For City AM: It’s time to end the cruel delusion of cheap money and reckless spending


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City A.M. asked me to comment in advance of the Autumn statement. I wrote: GEORGE Osborne will present his Autumn Statement to a country in the grip of a cruel economic delusion, perpetrated against the poor and the aspirational. Welfare states everywhere are spending chronically beyond their means while papering over the cracks with easy money. Budget 2013 forecast spending in excess of receipts of about £9bn a month. Defence, criminal justice, local government and the Foreign Office have been […]

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I wish Vince agreed with Nick (and Nick stuck by his own principles)


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In his conference speech, Nick Clegg said, The Conservatives, on the other hand, have made it clear that their priority is to help some families over others, with a tax break for married couples. A tax break for some, funded through the taxes of everybody else – that tells you everything you need to know about their values. While making an argument in the Finance Bill Committee against tax privileges for favoured industries, I said, We should not say, “Actually, everybody […]

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Contributions to the Finance Bill Committee 2013


Budget 2013 has long been forgotten by the media but the Finance Bill implementing it returned to the House yesterday for report stage. From 23 April to 20 June, I served on the Bill committee. All Bill stages and documents may be found here. I made many contributions, including 25 April, 3rd Sitting – Support of the report of the 2020 Tax Commission 16 May, 6th Sitting – Equality in tax laws 4 June, 10th Sitting – An attack on […]

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Finance Bill Committee coming to an end today


Today is the last day of the committee stage of this year’s Finance Bill. Details of all stages may be found here. I confess I look forward to it being over. I have been on the Committee since 23 April, making a sincere attempt to scrutinise every clause and promote my constituents’ interests. I spoke frequently, often criticising measures for one reason or another. I have certainly learned a great deal of the detail about the state of our country’s […]

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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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Budget 2013: The Headlines


The following was provided by the Conservative Party in summary of the Budget 2013. In a tough economic situation, the British people know there are no easy answers or short cuts. But we are succeeding, slowly but surely, in fixing those problems. We’ve now cut Labour’s record deficit by not just by a quarter – but by a third. We’ve helped create 1.25 million new private sector jobs. Interest rates remain at record lows. Income tax The amount people can […]

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Taxes, currency debasement and the OFT report on pump prices


Via the Office of Fair Trading, Rises in pump prices for petrol and diesel over the last 10 years have been caused largely by higher crude oil prices and increases in tax and duty and not a lack of competition, an OFT report has found. and, emphasis mine, The OFT found that, pre-tax, the UK has some of the cheapest road fuel prices in Europe. In the 10 years between 2003 and 2012 pump prices increased from 76 pence per […]

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Bucks County Council extends council tax freeze


This week Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) announced its budget plans for 2013/4. Keeping money in people’s pockets during these tough economic times is an essential part of ensuring the continued prosperity of Buckinghamshire. It is also welcome to see that the Conservative 2010 General Election pledge to freeze council tax for two years has been achieved and extended by the Council. I reproduce an extract below from the BCC press release: Despite £14.4m less funding from central government, freezing Council Tax […]

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A new debate is emerging on the scope of the state


Few people would tolerate a country in which the poor starved or went homeless and yet in Wycombe food is provided by the One Can Trust and emergency winter shelter by Wycombe Homeless Connection. Last time I divided the social security budget (£207bn) by the number of people in poverty (13m), the figure of almost £16,000 was higher than the income of over half the population. Despite spending so much money, the welfare state fails to keep people to a decent […]

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Greg Clark on Labour’s tax policy


Via House of Commons Hansard Debates for 28 Nov 2012 (pt 0003), Labour is, to its core, the party of tax and spend, and, to be fair, it takes a very consistent view of both sides of the equation. With regard to spending, it is always a matter of “How much?” and not “To what end?”—of inputs, not outcomes; of the number in the headline on the press release, not what is achieved with the money. On taxation, too, for Labour […]

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