Monthly Archives: March 2011

Is there an alternative to the spending cuts?

NO Look at the facts. This year’s budget deficit is just under £150bn. The government is borrowing almost £20m per hour just to finance ongoing expenses. And we’re spending £120m per day paying interest on existing debt. Without cuts, Britain … Continue reading

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Al Jazeera Inside Story: UK march for an alternative

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On the whole, a qualified positive

To be sure, there was some good stuff in the budget, and I probably feel more positive about it than I expected to. The additional 1 percent cut in corporation tax, above and beyond what had already been announced, was … Continue reading

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The tax wedge

In the comments under my blog on merging income tax and national insurance, and number of readers quite rightly point out that employers’ national insurance contributions are not really paid by businesses at all. In the long, the burden falls … Continue reading

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Merging income tax and national insurance

I am relieved to hear that chancellor George Osborne is considering merging income tax and national insurance, even if the changes are likely to be slow in coming. The division between these two direct taxes on income tax once (just … Continue reading

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The NHS needs reform, but are Lansley’s the way to do it?

I am in two minds about Andrew Lansley’s proposed reforms of the National Health Service, the cornerstone of which is the transfer of commissioning responsibility from Primary Care Trusts to GP-consortia. On the one hand, the NHS desperately needs radical … Continue reading

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Is the West history?

I am enjoying Niall Ferguson’s new Channel 4 documentary, Civilization: Is the West History?which identifies and explores the ‘six killer apps’ of Western civilization. These qualities, which have set the West apart from the rest of the world, are competition, … Continue reading

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