I’m in a hurry in a Parisian hotel room. When the Chancellor will be speaking today I will be at the OECD. I will miss at least four broadcasting opportunities. Country-by-country reporting demands it.
That’s a couple of hundred quid in appearance fees that won’t be received then.
First, if Theresa May really meant she was governing for everybody she should have re-read her Adam Smith and realised that tax has to be equitable: the bill has to be biggest for those most able to pay.
Quite so, more than in proportion to their income.
That is not true in the UK. We have a ridiculously low corporation tax rate, and capital gains tax is much the same. Inheritance tax is almost wholly avoidable for the richest. And we have no wealth tax.
It’s more than in proportion to their income. Anyone want to try denying that higher incomes pay a higher rate of income tax in the UK?
Well, yes, obviously, someone would. Spud.
Second, this should be a budget for spending: masses of government spending financed by near zero cost borrowing. Any business person would agree. But it’s not going to happen. Just when we have the chance to start building the post Brexit economy we won’t. As an economist it’s almost painful to watch such incompetence.
Would anyone like to point me to the spare capacity that could be utilised by this borrowing? What’s the unemployment rate for example? What’s the spare construction capacity maybe? OK, so this is over in the US but even Larry Summers and Paul Krugman are now agreeing that the stimulus argument there no longer works. And there’s obviously a point where it doesn’t here either.
He’s missed an important part of Keynes, hasn’t he? That when the facts change I change my mind?