Editorial: On Course…for the Rocks

on course for rocks autumn statement 2014

The Chancellor declared in his Autumn Statement that Britain was on course for a budget surplus, growth and national recovery. Yet at the outset he had staked his credibility on removing the deficit within this Parliament. Not only has the government failed in this overarching goal, but the deficit is unlikely to be eliminated until… Read More »

How Illicit Tobacco Trading Hits Small Retail Sector, Challenges to Tax Policy

The illicit trade in tobacco cost HM Treasury up to £2.9bn (1) in 2012/13, equivalent to £7.9m per day in lost revenue. Smuggling on this scale can be traced back to the early 1990s when the introduction of an above inflation ‘duty escalator’ in combination with the creation of the Single Market, led to a rapid… Read More »

A Patriotic Case for Wales in Europe

The difficult economic situation in mainland Europe gives Eurosceptic voices from UKIP and the Tory right ample opportunity to spread their negative sentiment. Yet theirs is not a voice of patriotism and, contrary to their claims, they do not in fact speak for British interests. A true patriot would be at the table, rolling their… Read More »

Mansion Tax Proposals, Taxation Fairness or Inefficiency: Part One

Following proposals put together by the Liberal Democrats but rejected by the Conservatives, Ed Miliband has now proposed a Mansion Tax to be levied on homes with a value of £2 million or more. Taxes such as this, which are not transaction based but based upon opinion, are more difficult to assess and administer than… Read More »

Co-operative Councils, Empowering Local Communities

Public services are at a turning point. The money’s run out just as our ageing population and rising unemployment mean there is more demand for social support than ever before. We need to find ways to do different for less, because, if we don’t, those people who need public services the most will find them… Read More »

Could Muni Bonds Fund UK Social Housing Investment?

Municipal bonds are debts issued by local government bodies, principally to fund capital expenditure. Like Government stock, they are traded. These bonds were used by local authorities in the UK for much of the Twentieth Century but in the 1980s they largely fell out of favour as their interest rates were being undercut by those… Read More »

Trident Renewal, UK Nuclear Deterrence and Security in an Uncertain World

On New Year’s Day 2013, management of our nuclear bases will be handed over to the private sector. The debate on a Nuclear UK continues and after 30 years it seems to remain stuck between two factions which are stereotyped as ‘pinko-commies’ and ‘right-wing warmongers’. Even within the Labour Party, those opposing Trident are often… Read More »