IEA Submission to the Budget


Labour Market

Ryan Bourne debunks some of the myths concerning wealth inequality

Government and Institutions

Large economic gains are to be had from greater devolution

Abolish the budget in its current form (1).pdf

  • The annual budget should be abolished in its current form. It should be replaced by a simple statement outlining the tax rates, allowances and borrowing levels required to finance the government’s spending obligations as outlined in the previous Autumn Statement. New tax legislation should be introduced to parliament separately and debated by both houses of parliament.

  • The government should commit to maintaining the current system of income tax relief for pension contributions, rather than creating a so-called ‘equalised’ rate of tax relief.

  • The tax-free lump sum available from pension funds should be abolished.

  • The government should not introduce a so-called ‘mansion tax’. Furthermore, marginal rates of stamp duty land tax should be significantly reduced over a five year period. Eventual abolition is desirable.

  • The government should either replace council tax with a tax on imputed rent for homes worth more than £1 million, or introduce a tax on imputed rent on all but primary residences and for all foreign-owned residences.

  • Child benefit should be abolished. It should be replaced with a system of fully-transferable household tax allowances. This system could be integrated with means-tested payments for lower-income households.

  • Inheritance tax should be abolished in its current form. A lower rate of tax of 20 per cent should be introduced on lifetime gifts received over £500,000, with generous allowance for small gifts received by low earners in individual years.

  • The 40p income tax threshold should be increased significantly.

  • The government should correct for significant fiscal drag seen in recent times by imposing a ‘double-lock’ on the uprating of thresholds over the next parliament (raising thresholds by the rate of increase in prices or wages, whichever is higher). Thereafter, thresholds for all taxes (not just income taxes) should be automatically updated in line with wage growth.

To read the press release, click here. 

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Academic and Research Director, IEA

Philip Booth is Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is also Director of the Vinson Centre and Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham and Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. He also holds the position of (interim) Director of Catholic Mission at St. Mary’s having previously been Director of Research and Public Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences. From 2002-2016, Philip was Academic and Research Director (previously, Editorial and Programme Director) at the IEA. From 2002-2015 he was Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at Cass Business School. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent and Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, University of Notre Dame, Australia. Previously, Philip Booth worked for the Bank of England as an adviser on financial stability issues and he was also Associate Dean of Cass Business School and held various other academic positions at City University. He has written widely, including a number of books, on investment, finance, social insurance and pensions as well as on the relationship between Catholic social teaching and economics. He is Deputy Editor of Economic Affairs. Philip is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and an honorary member of the Society of Actuaries of Poland. He has previously worked in the investment department of Axa Equity and Law and was been involved in a number of projects to help develop actuarial professions and actuarial, finance and investment professional teaching programmes in Central and Eastern Europe. Philip has a BA in Economics from the University of Durham and a PhD from City University.

Head of Public Policy and Director, Paragon Initiative

Ryan Bourne is Head of Public Policy at the IEA and Director of The Paragon Initiative. Ryan was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he achieved a double-first in Economics at undergraduate level and later an MPhil qualification. Prior to joining the IEA, Ryan worked for a year at the economic consultancy firm Frontier Economics on competition and public policy issues. After leaving Frontier in 2010, Ryan joined the Centre for Policy Studies think tank in Westminster, first as an Economics Researcher and subsequently as Head of Economic Research. There, he was responsible for writing, editing and commissioning economic reports across a broad range of areas, as well as organisation of economic-themed events and roundtables. Ryan appears regularly in the national media, including writing for The Times, the Daily Telegraph, ConservativeHome and Spectator Coffee House, and appearing on broadcast, including BBC News, Newsnight, Sky News, Jeff Randall Live, Reuters and LBC radio. He is currently a weekly columnist for CityAM.