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Category Archives: taxation

Record US budget deficit in February

So you think we have problems in the UK? In February the US recorded a budget deficit of $220.9bn which is just under £150bn. This figure was up 14% on the same month a year ago and the biggest monthly deficit ever recorded in the US. The country has now been running a deficit for seventeen consecutive months which is … Continue reading

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House prices fell in February

House prices fell by 1.5% in February, the first fall since June 2009, according to the Halifax. This gave an average house price of £166,857, which was 8% higher than the trough that was reached in April 2009. Commenting on the figures, Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist said: “An increase in the number of properties available for sale has helped … Continue reading

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Fiscal tightening needs to be increased

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, which has no political alignment, has said that the government would have to find another £13bn during the next parliament, in order to put the public finances back on an even keel.   In his pre-Budget report, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, outlined measures for a £57bn fiscal tightening which is about 4.1% of national income, … Continue reading

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Record figure for UK December borrowing

Public sector borrowing in December last year reached £15.7bn, which was £1.9bn higher than the December 2008 figure, according to the Office for National Statistics today. This was the highest December figure on record.   This means that the government’s net borrowing has reached £120bn for the first nine months of the fiscal year and seems to be on track … Continue reading

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Public sector borrowing hits record high in November

The UK’s public sector net borrowing reached £20.3bn in November which is the highest monthly figure since these figures were first started in 1993. This figure compares with the £15.5bn which was recorded in November 2008. This is according to figures published by the ONS this morning.   According to the Pre Budget Report the chancellor is expecting total public … Continue reading

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Missing tax costs the UK £40bn a year

HM Revenue & Customs published a piece in the printed Pre Budget Report called Protecting Tax Revenues 2009. In this they projected that there was a “tax gap” of 8%, which means of the total tax which they would expect to receive they are unable to get their hands on 8%. And, 8% is not a trifling matter, as it … Continue reading

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New windfall tax for apple growers

After next year the government will be scrambling to raise money anywhere it can as well as making swingeing cuts on spending. Additional tax on bank bonuses has already been announced, but other sectors may eventually be drawn in, such as the energy sector.   Since the Treasury refused to give a detailed breakdown of spending cuts following the Pre … Continue reading

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Four-to-one gap between rich and poor in UK

The tax and benefit system is obviously working in the UK to redistribute income between the rich and poor, but is it working well enough?   When we look at original income, that is income received before the impact of tax and benefits, the top 20% of households in the UK in 2007-08 received approximately 16 times more than the … Continue reading

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Public sector borrowing rises at record level

Public sector borrowing rose in May by £19.9bn., which compares with a rise of £12.2bn in the same month last year.  This is the largest monthly increase since records began.  This means that in the first two months of the new fiscal year, there was a total budget deficit of £30.5bn. Borrowing in April and May was almost 50% up … Continue reading

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Pull the other leg, Mr Chancellor

Yesterday saw the arrival of the Budget we had all been waiting for. How was Alistair Darling, the chancellor, going to deal with an economy which is in severe recession and contend with government finances which have been so severely overstretched?   There was a bit of tinkering here and there with slight increases in taxes on alcohol, tobacco and … Continue reading

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