VAT has now risen to 20% in the UK

The rate of Value Added Tax went up at midnight from 17.5% to 20.0%. This move was flagged in advance by the coalition government as being a necessary part of their austerity measures. On the one hand they are slashing spending across most government departments and on the other hand they are trying to raise taxes as well in an … Continue reading

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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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Government to introduce legislation that says I will lose two kilos in weight before Christmas.

What fantastic news, I will be able to get into my Santa suit after all. And, I can just sit back and look forward to the weight falling off me as the result of the government’s new law.   If you think this is far-fetched, it is about as far-fetched as the fiscal responsibility bill highlighted by the government yesterday, … 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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Put your cheque book away Prime Minister

Yesterday, Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, was answering questions from MPs at a Treasury committee. Just another routine meeting you might think. However, the governor grabbed the headlines by breaking with a convention of the Bank of not discussing the public finances in the open.   He basically warned Gordon Brown against mounting another significant fiscal stimulus … Continue reading

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