Continued from here.   The Hat Tax Astonishingly, hats were subject to a special sales tax between 1784 and 1811, first introduced by Pitt the Younger. Pitt, who also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer for much of his tenure as Prime Minister, was responsible for implementing 17 new taxes, more than any other Chancellor, ... Continue reading
“Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes”, as Benjamin Franklin’s old maxim goes. That’s especially true here in Britain, where everything from tampons to televisions is taxed, and even upon death there is one last impost, Inheritance Tax, to pay. Inheritance Tax (IHT) was one of 20 taxes that the Institute of Economic ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Since the Brexit vote, it has become the conventional wisdom that there is a backlash against globalisation by the left-behind. That this revolution isn’t limited to Britain has allegedly been confirmed by the election of Donald Trump in America, and various national and regional electoral gains by the far right across Europe. If globalised capitalism ... Continue reading
I really must re-tune the alarm clock so that I am not woken in the morning by the BBC trying to drum up a bit of outrage about offshore investments. Another load of personal data has been stolen from a law firm, and the BBC is trawling through it with prurient glee, trying to find ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The turmoil in Catalonia appears finally to be subsiding thanks to the central government’s intervention this weekend to restore constitutional order. The decision to sack the Catalan cabinet is an unaesthetic but necessary and entirely legal and legitimate action by Madrid. Only in that way can the rule of law, and respect for Spain’s devolved ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
In 2013, I went to see the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park. About half-way through, a surprise guest appeared on stage: Mick Taylor, who used to be their guitarist between 1969 and 1974. Taylor received a warm welcome, but also a fair share of snarky comments and mockery on social media afterwards. Commenters did ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Has anyone noticed how “tax cuts for the rich” has become a moniker for all and every income tax cut? When the government dropped the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p, that was predictably lambasted as a tax cut for the rich. George Osborne’s promise to raise the starting threshold for the ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Yesterday the Institute of Economic Affairs launched a new podcast series on iTunes, IEA Conversations. At a time when liberty and free markets are desperately needed in the politics of Britain, and further afield, we hope that IEA Conversations will become a strong outlet for free market opinion. Our channel will bring weekly commentary and ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Ian Mulheirn, the Director of Consulting at Oxford Economics and a former HM Treasury economist, has published an article arguing that high property prices are not the result of an excess of demand over supply of housing. This surprising claim for an economist is justified primarily by a comparison between the rate of change in ... Continue reading