It’s Time to Drop the Duty

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With less than three weeks to go until Budget day, speculation is mounting: will the Chancellor listen to the thousands who have emailed their MPs and make a popular pre-election cut in alcohol duty? The case in favour is compelling.

  • Duty is already unfairly high. Nearly 80% of an average priced bottle of spirits and nearly 60% of an average priced bottle of wine is tax.
  • UK consumers pay the Chancellor more than two thirds of all wine duties collected across the 28 Member States of the EU.
  • The UK is Europe’s leading spirits producer, accounting for 18% of employment across the EU;
  • Spirits has only received two tax cuts in the last 100 years, and wine hasn’t received a tax cut since 1984.

Independent research by EY shows that dropping the duty by 2% would not only increase GDP, create jobs and support pubs and the wider hospitality sector. Crucially, it would also enable the Chancellor to stand up for responsible drinkers and boost the public f inances by more than £1 billion. So a cut could help dent the deficit, not add to it. Please make your voice heard: it’s time to drop the duty.

Getting On the Right Track

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The Institute of Economic Affairs hit the headlines this week with its suggestion that busy rail lines could be converted to express busways.

Its report Paving Over The Tracks concluded that this would radically reduce commuter overcrowding – and cut fares by as much as 40%.

The think tank has also put forward other innovative measures that would get Britain`s creaking transport systems moving again – and ease the burden on the hard-pressed taxpayer.

Watch its short film Going Nowhere – Fast here.

Time for the Treasury to Settle Debt to Equitable Life’s Victims

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Equitable Life was one of the most trusted pension providers until it collapsed in 2000, leaving one million policyholders out of pocket. In 2008 a four-year investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman found regulators guilty of a decade of maladministration and called on the government to compensate the victims. In 2010 the Coalition Government accepted that policyholders had lost £4.3billion but offered compensation of only £1.5billion. Despite governments always providing 100% compensation to customers of bailed-out banks, Equitable’s victims are getting less than a quarter of what they are owed.

The Mail on Sunday’s personal finance editor says: “Equitable savers are being treated like second-class citizens” and this is “a monumental financial injustice”. The victims feel abandoned by a political class that has failed to deliver its promise of fair compensation. One policyholder says bluntly: “I don’t want to claim benefits. I’m a proud person, I’ve paid for my pension and they should give it to me.”

945,000 people and their families affected by this scandal have received only 22% of what is their due. Governments have dithered and delayed for too long. It is time for the Treasury to behave honourably and settle its debt to Equitable Life’s victims.

emag

Going Nowhere – Fast

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Ready for Christmas? Ready for the tailbacks, delays and cancellations?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. As part of its 2020 Vision programme, the Institute of Economic Affairs is focusing on Fast Tracking UK Transport.

The think tank says Britain could soon be on the move again – if politicians took a back seat and allowed private enterprise to develop our roads, railways and airports.

Otherwise, the UK will just be Going Nowhere – Fast, as this stylish new short from ieaTV shows. Watch it here:

Going Nowhere – Fast

Sponsored post.

Christmas is just around the corner – the season of tailbacks, delays and cancellations.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. As part of its 2020 Vision programme, the Institute of Economic Affairs is focusing on Fast Tracking UK Transport.

The think tank says Britain could soon be on the move again – if politicians took a back seat and allowed private enterprise to develop our roads, railways and airports.

Otherwise, the UK will just be Going Nowhere – Fast, as this stylish new short from ieaTV shows. Watch it here:

Momentum Building Behind Gatwick
…As the Only Deliverable Choice for Expansion

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Momentum is gathering behind Gatwick’s case for airport expansion in the South East as the debate over where the UK’s next runway should be built reaches a crucial point.

The Commission will have to consider a range of factors in making its final decision but the consultation document indicates why expansion at Gatwick best answers all the questions. It can give the country two world class airports.

The UK gets the economic benefit it needs at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow today. It would mean competition and lower fares for passengers. Gatwick has a financing plan and a construction project that can be delivered without huge risk to the public purse.

As the Commission underlines Gatwick can actually be delivered by 2025. We have a safeguarded site with little risk and no complex construction across major motorways.  Our new runway can be funded without a penny of taxpayers’ money at a time when there are a lot of other competing priorities for public funds.

After decades of indecision, the UK needs something to happen.

Delivering Capacity & Competition With Less Environmental Impact… Gatwick is the Clear Choice

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The Airports Commission, appointed by the Government, will consult on a straight choice between Gatwick and Heathrow for one new runway in the South East by 2030.

The runway debate has been going on for decades now – and further delays are something that the UK really can’t afford. Every month construction of Britain’s next runway is delayed is another month of missed economic growth.

At Gatwick, we can build a runway much faster than at Heathrow, and without any taxpayer funding.

We don’t face the challenges of having to build a runway over the M25, and we won’t have to fly 130,000 extra planes over Central London every year.

We can start building our runway quicker, so Britain can start building its future faster.

Expanding Gatwick will also strengthen the UK’s network of airports and create greater competition in the industry, meaning passengers will benefit from lower fares and better service.

Gatwick already flies direct to more destinations than any other UK airport – building a second runway would also strengthen our routes to emerging markets.

So, let’s just make the right decision for Britain’s future. London Gatwick, obviously.

Guido Readers Free Screening of CITIZENFOUR

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citizenfourCITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute as filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald encounter Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel room and he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the NSA and GCHQ.

The Times ****
“Completely Gripping”
Financial Times
“True-life spy thriller”
The Telegraph  ****
“Everybody needs to see it”
Guido’s co-conspirators should stay tuned for details of a free screening for readers to be announced shortly…

Defusing the Debt Timebomb

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Government borrowing is currently running 10% higher than last year – exacerbating the already parlous state of the UK’s public finances.

This week, as part of its 2020 Vision initiative, the Institute of Economic Affairs launched its new […]

Defusing the Debt Timebomb

Sponsored post.

Government borrowing is currently running 10% higher than last year – exacerbating the already parlous state of the UK’s public finances.

This month, as part of its 2020 Vision initiative, the Institute of Economic Affairs is looking at […]

Through the Roof

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Property prices and the soaring cost of living are never far from the headlines – and never far from politicians’ lips.

This conference season, all four main parties have discussed ways of cutting the UK’s cost of living. […]

I Don’t See Much Sin… Just Taxes

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Have you seen “Sin Taxes”? This stylish video short – from the Institute of Economic Affairs – shows how the poor are hit hardest by sin taxes. It puts forward proposals that would ease that burden – […]



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Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil on the dying Dead Tree Press

“I read more bloggers now than mainstream columnists, because they’ve got more interesting things to say. Too many columnists today make you think, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve said that 10 times before and I’ve just noticed your column has not go a single fact in it’”.

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