Friday, December 06, 2013

Obit overshadows Osborne's optimistic outlook...

No disrespect to Mandela but enough is being said elsewhere... everywhere, so I'll keep schtum [edit: 9pm] although if you have had enough of the fawning pap being spewed out in most media please read this from Charles Crawford. Yesterday had other news: the UK Chancellor George Osborne gave his Autumn Statement (Link: PDF) to Parliament on the state of the UK economy and the Coalition government's future plans. At a glance things are looking good despite BBC Peston's ludicrously negative report (and coordinated comments); he was presumably one of those BBC journalists prepared in advance (Link: PDF) by the assumed lefty (pinch of salt) IFS; (no doubt more from them on the BBC later ([edit]...later: haha, told you). The Taxpayers' Alliance briefing is broadly supportive (Link:PDF) but think Osborne 'must do more'; a key is the continued cutting the number and complexity of taxes: they say Tolley’s Tax Guide is now over 17,000 pages long. Particularly interesting is the TPA tax tracker: "Since the Coalition Government came to power in 2010, 509 tax hikes and 209 tax cuts have been announced". Two articles that IMHO are worth reading: Kamal Ahmed in the DT ("Be grateful that George Osborne did not unveil a Brownite master plan") and I also liked Rafael Behr's article in the NS: "...the macroeconomic indicators fuelling Conservative levity conceal real pain that will cost the government votes".


Paul said...

"Another problem is the instability of the tax system". - taxpayers alliance.

This is the biggest obstacle to any sort of investment and is something that businesses rather than families (as used in the report) are concerned about. We are subject to EU rules on allowances (there is a line that cannot be crossed where allowances become state subsidies) and that does impact on key decisions regarding investment.

What I am finding from talking to clients is that we now have two definite camps when it comes to spending - those who say that they want something now and are going to buy it, that might be cash or credit, and those who have the cash but don't want or need to spend it but are frustrated because interest rates are so low that their savings are actually diminishing in real terms.

All that said, and I like your comments in the NS, PFI is sill lurking out there like the shark off Amity Island. The Autumn Statement has very little impact on what 'ordinary' people think or do, it's all down to the time of year. This country now closes for three weeks in December and the speech is really for the City to prepare people for the post-Xmas blues.

Re the size of Tolleys, this always makes me smile when this comes up - this used to be a favourite of Devon in the old 5Live days. I agree that it is huge compared to other countries but part of the problem is all the footnotes and the references to old tax acts (don't worry you can't be locked up for it!) that are included. I would love to know how many pages there actually are on the tax law - agreed it will be too many.

btw - Tolley's is not on its own I read a letter this week from somebody saying their new VW has a handbook which has 300 pages on the entertainment system, the letter writer said that his Dad's instruction manual for flying a Lancaster bomber was 8 pages long!

Span Ows said...

Yes, read the whole TPA paper and now the IFS one too. btw, I have done a coupe of updates, mainly with a Mandela link.

I am sure the tax system can be made simple very easily (ha!) and in doing so reduce the size of (but not the income) government by half!

Love your last paragraph!