Mo Runs from Osborne

After his double gold Olympic glory, Mo Farah said: “I don’t know anything but England. When I run for my country I’m proud.” Ed Miliband called him “a hero for our country”, the Prime Minister wanted to give him a knighthood. Boris did the Mo-Bot…

Awkward then that Mo has applied to become a tax exile in Portland, Oregon, US – to reduce his bill. And who can blame him. Similarly, marathon champ Paula Radcliffe – after Gordon Brown raised the top rate of tax – moved to Monaco. As Guido pointed out in the Sun yesterday, the usual suspects  condemn such behaviour by the rich but, when it comes to these Olympic heroes, are silent…

Osborne Promises Another £12 Billion Benefits Salami Slice

Talking the talk, Osborne has claimed “government is going to have to be permanently smaller and so is our welfare system”. Finally, if he is to be believed, the Tories will be “permanently cutting people’s taxes by permanently cutting spending”. He’s making the right noise at least, but when?

The Chancellor has pledged a further £12 billion of cuts to benefits from 2015 to 2017, yet the overall bill is £174.3 billion. Barely a dent. From the gloomy tones of the speech it’s not looking likely that tax cuts will come this side of an election either. This looks like playing politics rather than any genuine commitment to walking the walk.

Bah, L’Humbug!
Hollande’s 75% Tax Rate Approved by French Courts

Francois Hollande’s Christmas present to the French people is a 75% tax rate. The hike was ruled unconstitutional a year ago but the French courts have u-turned and now, despite huge protests from business leaders and the country’s star footballers going on strike, those earning over €1 million will pay a top income tax rate of 75% to their socialist government. Another nail in the coffin of the Hollande plan that Miliband endorsed. Expect a queue of Ferraris on the French-Swiss border tonight…

Wonk Movements: All Change at TPA

Big wonk movements last night, with Matt Sinclair leaving his position as chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance to jump ship to Europe Economics. He is replaced by the TPA’s current political director, Jonathan Isaby who has gone from hack, to wonk, to boss in under five years. Research director John O’Connell is promoted to Director. Fact: Isaby owns every single Now That’s What I Call Music album ever released.

True Terrible Impact of Bedroom ‘Tax’ Revealed

Labour are forever telling us that the bedroom ‘tax’ is a vindictive and pernicious policy that will cause misery for thousands across the country. Well today the devastating consequences have come to light. Worcester News has the story of one victim, Lisa Taylor, a mother in Warndon. Her sob story of having to dip into savings makes for grim reading:

“Since the bedroom tax was brought in she can no longer afford to buy her son a PlayStation 4 for Christmas.

The horror.

H/T @moodyslayeruk

The Un-Free, Anti-Enterprise Group

The “Free Enterprise Group” is made up Tory MPs who are usually relatively sensible and allegedly right-wing, so Guido cannot understand why they keep coming up with such bonkers ideas. First they wanted to tax the old even more, now they want to put VAT on food and kids’ clothes. The idea is that the 20% rate is lowered to 15% but exemptions are abolished, so it would apply to all purchases. The Mirror has rightly given them a deserved two page kicking, calculating that: “A weekly grocery bill of £54.80 would go up by £8.22, an outing for £251.10 worth of under 14s clothes would jump £37.66 and a fuel bill of £1,267 would rise £127.” 

Guido cannot help but wonder what kind of supposed free enterprise group wants to extend the reach of VAT, introducing a blanket tax on every transaction. Cutting the rate is all well and good, but how can these self-proclaimed right-wingers possibly sell to voters the idea that their grocery bills, energy and kids’ clothes costs should all go up? As group member crazy Kwasi Kwarteng admits: “This is controversial.”

That Permanent Austerity in Full

The usual bedwetters are lining up this morning to proclaim that Cameron signalled never-ending austerity last night. They’re moaning about ideology etcetera.

Have a look at what Dave actually said:

“We have a plan – and we are carefully implementing that plan. Already we have cut the deficit by a third. And we are sticking to the task. But that doesn’t just mean making difficult decisions on public spending. It also means something more profound.

It means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.

It can be done. Consider these facts. There are 40 per cent fewer people working in the Department for Education – but over 3,000 more free schools and academies, with more children doing tougher subjects than ever before. There are 23,000 fewer administrative roles in the NHS – but 5,000 more doctors, with shorter waiting times. So you can have a leaner, more efficient, more affordable state that actually delivers better results for the taxpayer.”

Guido will believe the “leaner, more efficient, more affordable state” when he sees it, but it is hardly an unreasonable aim? What do the left have against being careful with taxpayers’ money? If you are opposed to efficiency, then you are the ideological one…

Green Ed’s Taxes are Officially Under Review

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson has confirmed this morning that green subsidies on energy bills are now under review. Just yesterday Cameron said that those very same green subsidies were “necessary”A quick and welcome u-turn, even by Dave’s standards…

These taxes bump up gas and electricity bills by up to 9%. Without nationalisation government cannot dictate how energy companies are run, any more than it can dictate the price of oil. What it can do is ease the pressure for bill-payers right now by suspending Ed Miliband’s levy. This isn’t some notional freeze in the future, you don’t have to wait until 2015 to do this. The Tories should bin their commitment to these taxes right now, and let Ed be the one who pledges to increase energy prices at the next election should he want to bring them back. If Green Ed thinks there is a cost of living crisis, he should be big enough to admit the part he has played in it.

LibDems Will Put Up Taxes on Those Earning £50,000+

Most of the LibDem lines to take that were accidentally leaked to the press were pretty dull, yet their plans to put up taxes on anyone who earns more than £50,000 has piqued the attention of hacks. Especially given […]

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Hodge Blames Gordon For Vodafone Tax Dodge

Margaret Hodge isn’t wasting any opportunity to bleat about the £84 billion Vodafone/Verizon deal today:

“We must demand reassurance that HMRC has thoroughly examined this proposition to ensure British taxpayers get their rightful share of this massive profit. If

[…]

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Why Mansion Tax is Electoral Suicide

Knight Frank has crunched the numbers and calculated that to raise the target £2 billion, the mansion tax would have to start at £1.25 million, hitting 775,000 households. This would of course be levied overwhelmingly on London and the South […]

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Tory Councillors Spend Taxpayer Money to Dodge Tax

Kent County Council has spent over £5,000 of taxpayers’ money on financial advisers in order to challenge an HMRC decision to tax their travel expenses. Tory council leader Paul Carter clearly really, really doesn’t want to have to pay tax […]

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