SMPC take vote on Bank Rate raise in July

The Shadow Monetary Policy Committee votes eight to one to raise Bank Rate in August On a vote of 8 to 1, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee voted to raise Bank Rate in August. Seven members voted to raise the Base rate by ¼%. One member voted to raise by ½%. One member voted to ... Continue reading

Sin taxes can cost poor families up to ten times more than they cost the wealthy

Summary: There should be no debate about whether taxes on food, alcohol, tobacco and soft drinks (‘sin taxes’) are regressive. It can be easily demonstrated empirically, and countless studies have done so. As with most indirect taxes, they take a greater share of income from the poor than from the rich in all plausible scenarios. ... Continue reading

IEA releases primer on capitalism

Summary:  It is hard to find a book that explains, simply and fairly, what capitalism is, how it works, and its strengths and weaknesses. The very word capitalism was coined as a term of abuse. And still today, most books on the subject remain hostile to capitalism, or paint a distorted, confused picture of it. ... Continue reading

UK regulatory autonomy, recognition, and a productive economy

Summary:  Withdrawal from the EU must mean regulatory autonomy for the United Kingdom – sovereignty over its regulations. This reflects the democratic mandate of the 2016 referendum and the 2017 manifesto commitments of the Conservative and Labour Parties, and will propel growth and competition in the economy. It is also necessary for the UK to ... Continue reading

Hold the birthday cheers: poor NHS performance costing lives

Summary:  2018 marks the 70th birthday of the UK National Health Service – an institution which commands an unparalleled trust and reverence from the British people.1 Yet, to many casual onlookers, the Health Service appears to be in a perpetual state of “crisis”. To some extent, this is borne out by the available data on ... Continue reading

Estimating the size and potential of the UK Cannabis Market

Summary:  This report aims to provide estimates of: (a) the size and value of the UK’s illicit cannabis market in 2016/17 (b) the size and value of the market if cannabis were legalised and regulated (c) the annual tax revenue that a legal cannabis market would yield Our best estimate suggests that 255 tonnes of ... Continue reading

Brexit provides opportunity to slimline costly regulation of insurance market

Summary:  The extent of regulation of insurance companies has grown significantly in recent decades. The ‘freedom with publicity’ regime which defined the regulatory approach from 1870 to 1970 appeared to work and ran with the grain of the market. Arguments that are given today for prudential regulation of insurers tend to be spurious or not ... Continue reading

UK must initiate negotiations with the EU as soon as possible

The timing and sequencing of trade negotiations is a subject that does not command much attention from commentators.  Yet, many of the substantive discussions are in danger of becoming academic if this issue is not better understood. By contrast, the EU has shown a much stronger mastery of how the timing can be used to ... Continue reading

Clamping down on offshore financial centres would not raise tax revenue

Summary:  Offshore financial centres (OFCs) are alleged to be hotbeds of tax evasion. Their role in facilitating individual and corporate tax planning, which is entirely legal but politically controversial, has also come under the spotlight. However, OFCs play an important economic function. By mitigating instances of double and triple taxation, offshore centres raise aggregate investment. ... Continue reading

IEA releases Brexit briefing on the case for 'MaxFac'

Summary: Of the three current options for UK''s future customs arrangements with the EU, 'MaxFac' has the best chance of making the most of the opportunities created by Brexit. MaxFac isn’t something completely new: it simply means agreeing to keep customs arrangements as streamlined as possible. What’s more, the systems and technologies for MaxFac already exist ... Continue reading