February 19th, 2013

Wonk Watch: LibDem Think Tank Backs Business Tax Breaks

LibDem wonk shop CentreForum is a breeding ground for SpAds and bag-carriers. It’s not all mansion taxes and jewellery duty for these yellow sages, believe it or not they are now actually calling for tax breaks for small and medium sized enterprises.

Proposals include ditching stamp duty on all share transactions, allowing ISAs to include shares traded on SME equity markets and reducing capital gains tax on shares. Cable dryly describes the report as “interesting”. What’s the betting we never hear of it again…


  1. 1
    Maria Hutchings says:


  2. 2
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    It would be nice not to hear of Vince Cable again.

  3. 3
    Sir William Wade says:

    1. All transaction taxes are fundamentally distortive and unsound, compared with taxes on income, gains or consumption.

    2. ISAs are a nonsense. There is no point in privileging one form of investment over others.

    3. Ditto for the third idea.

    Lower taxes for all are what we need, not gimmicks like these.

  4. 4
    Red Egg Millitit.....National Socialist. says:

    LibDems are famous for their infamous :)

  5. 5
    Owin Jones says:

    Seven hours later it appeared Owen Jones had neither forgiven nor forgotten as he vowed to exact revenge: ‘I have been hacked by spammers.

    Luckily I have acquired a special set of skills over many years. I will find them. And I will kill them.’

  6. 6
    SP4BS says:

    you know that this whole “SME” idea comes from France.

    Its a concept that you need to have when you treat companies with more than 50 people working for them like shit.

  7. 7
    Red Egg Millitit.....National Socialist. says:

    God help us if the Indians are going to preach to us about ethics, business or social.


  8. 8
    Lord Stansted says:

    “… ISAs to include shares traded on SME equity markets …”

    At best, that means AIM and shares that move for unknown (by most people) reasons and at worst, off-market shares that don’t move and don’t trade at all. Loony LibDems all over

  9. 9
    Raving Loon says:

    Politicians of most stripes dislike ideas which don’t give government more money or power.

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Boris also backs the proposals. Anything that can unite Cable and Boris must have a pretty wide consensus behind it!

  11. 11
    WARNING Policy Vacuum Alert says:

  12. 12
    Centre Parting says:

    Yes and you can’t use the losses either.

  13. 13
    Casual Observer says:

    Cable has just signed the patents stuff over to the EU:


  14. 14
    Casual Observer says:

    Agreed. Cameron needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Nice place, but they are not your friends.

  15. 15
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    + 1

  16. 16
    Tim Yeo is a truly useless sack of shit says:

    Sounds like a slightly disproportionate response from Owen.

    Out of interest, how could Owen have “many years” experience of anything?

  17. 17

    There is only one need ever for any taxation.


    The majority of spending is wasteless, needless or otherwise counter-productive in promoting real prosperity.

  18. 18
    Don Corlione says:

    His blaming of !talian’s is not going to make people happy.

    The horses head is in the post, and on the shelves of your supermarkets.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    V1le, spiteful Labour ruined my Country says:

    He has many years of being a brain dead idiot starting from birth!

  21. 21
    Vince Is Not Convincing, But He Is Vince Conning, says:

    Good old Vince Cable– always looking to give everybody “the business.” It’s pretty damned obvious that’s what he’s giving CentreForum. What in hell is “interesting” supposed to mean? It’s like that old joke about the ladette who goes to charm school and comes out all lah-dee-dah, saying “Splendid!” to everything everyone tells her; an old mate says, “Why do you now tell everyone ‘splendid’ when they tell you something?” and newly-minted Miss Manners says, “It’s what they teach you in charm school– to say ‘splendid,’ when you really want to say ‘bugger off’!”

  22. 22
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    India, the land of beggars and baksheesh. It has not changed for hundreds of years, Cameron is deluded if he imagines it ever will.

  23. 23
    Tax is theft says:

    There’s a modicum of common sense here – what’s the catch?

  24. 24
    T'Old Fella says:

    The Cons wouldn’t do that because small/medium cap cos. cannot afford to pay them monies they would like to receive

  25. 25
    Tim Yeo is a truly useless sack of shit says:

    “Cable has just signed”

    I misread that as “Cable has just resigned” and for one brief moment there was a feeling of intense joy in my heart, the likes of which I have never experienced before, and will perhaps never have cause to feel again.

  26. 26
    hilary mantel says:

    chubby terrahawks.

  27. 27
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    > transaction taxes are fundamentally distortive and unsound compared with taxes on income, gains or consumption.

    Wow that’s really REALLY STUPID taxes on income, gains or consumption are a transaction tax you numpty.

    Only taxes on things the state creates like Land Rights are beneficial (so long as returned as citizen’s dividend rather than bureaucrat allocated). Do read some Adam Smith or Ricardo, rather than neo-Marixst trash.

    I keep thinking I’ve seen peak stupid but…

  28. 28
    Tim Yeo is a truly useless sack of shit says:


  29. 29
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    Abortion Dodging?

  30. 30
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    Treating SME’s differently from larger enterprises is one for accountants to love.

    Everyone with a business will now have 2+ Small ones.

  31. 31
    Casual Observer says:

    The ‘common’ sense ?

    Certainly ties in further wrt union.

    And will likely be of no real benefit to UK patent holders as Europe rarely steals our patents.

    Doesn’t fix this issue at all:


    And were the public asked about this ? Came sort of out of the blue.

  32. 32
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    I can’t see the need for the state to decide what share investment gets a tax break and what doesn’t.

    Can you put your peer to peer loans into an ISA? You should be able to.

  33. 33
    EU Watch says:

    UKIP Purple :
    Pantone 2603C
    C 69 M 100 Y 0 K 2
    Hex #70147A

    UKIP Yellow :
    Pantone Yellow C
    C 0 M 0 Y 100 K 0
    Hex #FEDF00

  34. 34
  35. 35
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    It’s bigger than that. The US is also doing exactly the same.

    No info, world-wide law change. I think good for them = bad for us.

    The current patent system is to allow rent-seeking and nothing else.

  36. 36

    There would be less disagreement about how to raise taxes (expediency currently rules), if less spending were taking place.

    It is my contention that government spending should be halved in five years. The private sector will easily fill the void as it will feel less constrained. Upon achievement of this, then the spending should be halved again.

  37. 37
    SP4BS says:

    The state creates Land Rights does it? really?

  38. 38
  39. 39
    keredybretsa says:

    Be using the report as toilet paper!

  40. 40
    SP4BS says:

    aha. you are one of those fundamentalists.

    Someone spends several years, earning nothing while creating something of value. Then when they’ve completed it, they earn money from it. Do you really want to call that “rent seeking”.

    Sounds like a lot of hard work, risk, and actually producing something of genuine worth to me.

  41. 41
    Operation Crossbow says:

    Cameron will be waking up next to a Tesco value Lasagne you mean

  42. 42
    National Socialism is Socialism says:

    Here is an academic view:


    The political economy is worth considering:

    The NSDAP did not nationalize industry, but the military Keynesian economic model they followed did synthesize. Capital was still separate from state, but was predominately client to the state which is socialism.

    It is easy to conflate this with the state-corporatism of Mussol!ni’s fascists, where capital and state are explicitly tied together through de-facto nationalization.

    A modern example is private-public partnerships in the UK, notable as they represent an explicitly fascist political-economic model.

    The painting of NSDAP as fascist was preferable to the left propagandists as this allowed the other atrocities of the shoah to be associated with the enemies of communism, and shadow Stal!n’s atrocities in Russia.

    Some on the left paint that argument a different way in order to make the case that the shoah was faked. The shoah did occur and such distortion shows the mendacity of some to perpetuate the true myth of WWII that the NSDAP were not socialists.

  43. 43
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Like the cartoon in the D Mail today.

  44. 44

    Totalitarianism is the key to all this. Mises recognised this as indeed Reisman points out in the conclusion to your link.

  45. 45
    40 million acres of uk farm land says:

    The world has too many patent lawyers. I think in a mobile phone there are 300thousand, or some ridiculous number, patents. Patents stifle innovation and enterprise and besides which if you patent something you just tell some Chinese factory owner how to do it.

  46. 46
    Bert says:

    I am #70147A in the face!

  47. 47
    Incapable Vince says:

    If these proposals do not hit the rich hard, I’m not interested. How dare these people be entrepreneurial, take risks, get luck or simply work harder and smarter than my supporters ?

    They must be punished, penalised and pulverised into penury.

  48. 48
    Casual Observer says:

    Posting again as no one has picked up on the other thing going on here.

    This is very much to do with domestic !ndian politics.

    Check Son!a Ghand! and the influence she has been exerting with !talian backing through her son Rahul. Rahul Ghand! is leader of the !ndian National Congress.

    This from last December gives an idea of relationship S!ngh / Son!a Ghand!


    And shortly after that, Vaz went over after nurse gate…

    The UK has been meddling directly in !ndian internal affairs, so the slap is to be expected.

  49. 49
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    What do you thin the army, police, courts etc are.

    It doesn’t create the land but does create the exclusivity.

  50. 50
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Old Cables are dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible.

  51. 51
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    The thing is this
    The state can collect Land Rental Values or it can be done privately, either way both act like a tax so the option is…

    or Other Taxes PLUS privately collected LVT.

    An LVT on the unimproved value of Land just means less land is abandoned.

  52. 52
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    If everyone equally paid for the government via deductions from the Citizens dividend it would be a strong pressure on the size of the government.

  53. 53
    National Socialism is Socialism says:

    Totalitarianism is the extreme and logical conclusion.

    This quote from the M!ses piece succinctly explains what happened to Frosh:

    ‘A socialist government totally annihilates these freedoms. It turns the press and every public forum into a vehicle of hysterical propaganda in its own behalf, and it engages in the relentless persecution of everyone who dares to deviate by so much as an inch from its official party line.’

    Sounds just a little bit like the dystopia or Orwell, or perhaps he was merely exploring the boundaries based on what he had seen happen under Stal!n.

  54. 54
    Sir William Wade says:

    No, taxes on transactions are ‘inconvenient’ in the Smithian sense, in that they do not tax added value and tend to hit the taxpayer when he is down, for instance when buying a house. The distortive effect is that they encourage the misallocation of capital by discouraging its transfer.

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    It has never worked. It just means there is a single court case to lose instead of many.

    Patents are for big business and are traded like everything else. An individual with a patent is as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

    No individual can ever hope to get a judgement in their favour in patent or non-disclosure cases. It always has to be in the favour of the legal system.

    Then the whole patent system is selfish. If the first hunter that went down the sea with a sharp pole and caught a fish was allowed to break everyone’s poles and steal all the speared fish, and so starve all his neighbours, we would have never evolved. I can understand copyright in the artistic sense, but I cannot understand patents. Especially the idea that they are withheld from human use by a two bit company that only employs lawyers. There is no sane way to value an invention. However, to copy a piece of software, a product, or a design, that it is identical to the average informed person, has an inherent value determined by the original product.

    As for First to File, this precludes all small inventors as they must file or publish everything they do. Either way they give away the idea before there is time to get a market lead. There is no hope to making a challenge. The companies literally laugh at the inventor.

  56. 56

    To both your points, I have been looking at Georgism through pragmatic eyes and am inclined to think that, whatever the merits, one would never be able to get there. It is too difficult for the non-thinking types to even begin to understand. We can argue over the theory of subjective value versus intrinsic theories but it will never be accessible to more than a handful of theorists.

    I do appreciate the limiting pressure you mention but the same point applies. Indeed, I have been promoting the jury system of government for a while but there is zero prospect of it coming about unless we witness a complete breakdown in civilisation.

  57. 57
    LibLabCon Spokesman says:

    vinks is 85 now so you will feel that again.

    now i remember edward heath passing from this mortal coyle . . . it was a great day to bury bad news

  58. 58
    rebekah aka nellnewman says:

    bumbling vince believes the libdems will be in a position to join labour in a coalition in 2015 and that labour will then make him chancellor. God Forbid!

  59. 59
    Owin Jones says:

    The bookies hot favourite to bag an Oscar this year?….. Pretoria State Prison.

  60. 60
    SP4BS says:

    hahaha a deleted page is that?

    Where’s our freedom to spout ill informed crap today then?

  61. 61
    Legal Eagle says:

    Good decision.

  62. 62
    Learn to Count with Ed Balls says:

    One, two, seven, four, twelvety.

  63. 63
    Gloucester-Parasites-R-Us says:

    I demand a council house with enough bedrooms for my 11 children. I also demand that I am paid enough benefits not only to live well but to stable my horse as well. What’s the point of the welfare state if not to finance the lifestyle I choose?

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:

    Next LD might want poor to pay taxes to support the rich. This is why these idiots are stupid. Yesterday they wanted to tax BTL now they want to cut tax for small businesses, all BTL might have to do is to transfer the houses into companies. Same could be done for mansions.

    Can someone advice.

  65. 65
    Plato says:

    It would be ironic to say the least if this blog were to help get the Huhne(s) off.

  66. 66
    Owin Jones says:

    Ed Miliband and David Cameron will be releasing a joint statement who should be a judge on The X Factor later. It’s because it’s important!

  67. 67
    Anonymous says:

    To say land that is abandoned, is to recognise that we have grown beyond a sustainable future. In a sustainable future we would value having spare land, like someone would value having a emergency fund.

    We are therefore past the point of optimum civilization. There is no solution, just an opportunity for some to survive better off than others. Who chooses?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Why can't our daytime TV be like this? says:

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Frank's son says:

    Agreed! All the time Guido was posting his gothca nonesense and maybe just maybe it will bite him on the bum.

  72. 72
    Winnie the Pooh says:


  73. 73
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    “The page you are looking for cannot be found”, but the adverts are still there. Yeah, like I’m really going to want to hang around on a page with no content, just so I can read all the adverts instead. You wonder what kind of a contract Guido has with his advertisers, and whether they’re chisellers enough to try to get some sort of rebate. (Although I think I know what our host will tell them.)

  74. 74
    No steps forward 100 steps back says:

    Shame their not discussing energy supplies and keeping the generators running, get fracking you pair of inept sh*tehawkes,

  75. 75

    It is more pleasant looking at Tamsen Fadal above than the one we were talking about when the plug was probably wisely pulled.

  76. 76
    Edinburgh Shitty says:

    Cable just can’t see the wood for the trees.

  77. 77
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    Malthus has always been and always will be wrong.

    It’s therefore no surprise that he and great economic David ricardo did not agree…

  78. 78
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    What’s difficult about it?!?

    Cost of “House” less cost of rebuild insurance = Land Value.

  79. 79
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    You taxes discourage comparative advantage therefore discouraging wealth formation, an even worse outcome.

  80. 80
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    Totalitarianism is the endgame of Socialism.

    When you remove choice from consumers, and the discipline of demand/supply = price then you need more and more force to keep people from privately dealing with shortages.

  81. 81
    CarryHole is a stupendous Hunt says:

    Patents are mainly used by big business to block their rivals, rather than to allow the flow of information to aid society.

    It needs a massive rethink.

  82. 82
    Haribo Halfwit says:

    As Alexander Graham Bell showed, it makes great sense to have friends in the Patents Office. Being able to shuffle papers to the bottom of a pile has the power to build empires.

  83. 83
    Highland fibdem watch says:


    Former libdem wifie makes complaint about one of her former colleague. A pair of tossers but typical of fibdem life

  84. 84

    Two points here:

    1.) Nothing difficult about the theory as you present it for sure. But to make the transition from what we have now to that state requires either widescale buy in or an awful lot of guns which will have to be surrendered when everyone has seen the light. In short I am challenging you on the practicality of gaining acceptance.

    2.) Take a nasty old bastard like…, ah I know, me! I am going to be thinking If I get some tiles from some unknown place and some facing bricks from somewhere else and similar, I can make cost minus rebuild insurance become a zero amount without anything being traceable. Ergo Land value = nil.

    You have stated the case simply for sure. But you have not accounted for the difference between theory and practice. I am not trying to be obtuse, I am listening. It is for you to convince me.

  85. 85
    John from Hull says:

    My waist is very full, thank you.

  86. 86
    Public Forum says:

    I have not met any person, business or otherwise, that believes that Vince Cable is doing a good job.
    Even Labour supporters do not think he is any good.
    I feel sorry for the think tank kids at CentreForum but I can only hope they have the maturity to understand that the only initiatives that Cable will bring forward are those that are well conceived and presented to him by others, but he can lay claim to.

  87. 87
    Pundit too too says:

    Tim Yeo actually put up a good fight on lefty Quinn on radio 4 today in telling her the last government did absolutely nothing about our energy situation while they were in power, and the coalition are now trying to right this wrong. Strangely Quinn did not try to interupt him during his monologue – she was actually civilized. What’s going on at BBC?

  88. 88
    Jeremy the Clerk's son. says:

    You are Mata Hari copying my tweets over the hackers.
    So now I have found you and will either kill you or visit you.

  89. 89
    Rusty Plover says:

    I think you will find that the Germans’ were way ahead of the French on SME’s

  90. 90
    LSE - Losers Supporting Industry says:

    He He He.
    We are with Cameron in India and did you not hear that we have made the offer to take 50 Indians as graduates for our lousy doctorates or whatever, on low fees rates? They will all of course have to pass our political left leaning standards first. After all we have a crap reputation to keep.

  91. 91
    Indian chief says:

    Seeing that both Reuters India and the Indian media are blaming their own defence people and the Italian company, the disinformation in the UK media is totally ridiculous.

  92. 92
    fashionista says:

    Get your teeth and hair fixed, dear

  93. 93
    Methuen says:

    I prefer my standards, thankyou

  94. 94
    BBC Big Brother Comptroller says:

    Last week we put out our own radio version of why Orwell appeared to be supporting right wing principles when in reality he was attacking Communist Russia and Stalin after his experiences in Spain.
    You can always trust us to rewrite history.

  95. 95
    Chukka Moneyatit says:

    Never fear! I will be your right hand (sorry left hand) man, Uncle Vince

  96. 96
    bookie down the road. says:

    6 to 4 on.
    20 to 1 death penalty.
    8 to 1 life.

  97. 97
    Ivan Agenda says:

    Strange the BBC picked up on this but do not mention which party is in local council power in Tewkesbury.

  98. 98
    Harry Potter's wand says:

    That’s not bullying. You should see the birds in my garden. They are bullying all the time.

  99. 99
    Zeitgeist in Strawberry Hill (and 1st class passenger!) says:

    We are pleased that St Vince is so in tune with the pulse of British business, at least someone appears to know what he’s talking about. It is after all most important to keep up spending on the Pupil Premium and on public sector unilateral wage increases or risk the return of the Red Devil. We’re all helled-out at the moment and need a little respite.

  100. 100
    Harriet says:

    Perfectly copied and pasted Ed, well done. Now to get back to other projects I’m working on.

  101. 101
    V1le Labour set to cripple Britain says:

    Frack off! It won’t last long the best solution is more solar panels to heat your hot water and wind farms on hilltops to do the rest (central heating and light).

  102. 102
    Harriet says:

    Coming. Would you like anything else?

  103. 103
    Snape says:

    Cable gave us a massive increase in CGT which killed the golden goose.

    This Govt. does not understand business.

    The rest of the world is moving out of recession.

    Not us!

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