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Tax and cost of living

The Centre for Policy Studies wants Britain to have a tax system that is simple, fair, and pro-growth. And although there have been some encouraging moves on tax policy in recent years – the corporation tax rate has gone down, the personal allowance has gone up, and savers have benefited from more generous ISAs – there is still a lot of work to be done.

We have an income tax system that is riddled with punitive marginal rates and perverse incentives that discourage work and enterprise. We have heavy property taxes that distort markets and contribute to a growing housing crisis. And we tax businesses in a way that does little to promote long-term investment. Above all, we have a tax burden that stands at its highest level in decades, and a tax code that is – at least by some measures – the longest in the world.

If we’re going to rise to the economic challenges of the 21st Century, this has to change. We need tax reform that puts more money in people’s pockets, and promotes robust, sustainable growth. At the Centre for Policy Studies, our aim is to design tax policies that meet these objectives in a practical, popular way – and which are rooted in our core principles of enterprise, opportunity, and ownership.

Our economic agenda is not confined to tax reform, however. Alongside projects looking at housing, welfare, and business policy, the Centre for Policy Studies is working on ideas to lower the cost of living – not through heavy-handed state intervention, but with reforms that make markets more competitive and ensure that consumer interests always come first.

The salience of this issue should not be underestimated. Our “New Generation” polling asked people what government could do to make their own lives better, and across the age spectrum, “do more to keep down the cost of living” was a clear winner. Those aged 18–24 ranked it just behind “more affordable housing”, and those over 65 put it second behind “better health service provision”. But every other age group made lower living costs their number one priority.

Finding realistic ways to make British life more affordable is therefore a central focus of the Centre for Policy Studies’ work.

Public Sector Pay: The Case for Restraint

Public Sector Pay: The Case for Restraint

- Economy

Public sector pay freeze could save up to £23 billion by 2023

The Case Against Raising the Minimum Wage

The Case Against Raising the Minimum Wage

Jethro Elsden - Economy

The generosity of the impulse behind raising and expanding the National Living Wage can only be applauded. But going ahead with the current plans will harm the very people it is designed to help.

A Framework for the Future: Reforming the UK Tax System

A Framework for the Future: Reforming the UK Tax System

Tom Clougherty -

If the UK is to recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible, it needs economic growth. However, according to new CPS report, the current tax system is not equipped to deliver it.

Saving £30 Billion: 9 Simple Steps

Saving £30 Billion: 9 Simple Steps

Alex Morton -

Our new report outlines nine areas where the Government could make easy savings, or realise extra value, without increasing the burden on ordinary families and small businesses.

Wrong Taxes, Wrong Time

Wrong Taxes, Wrong Time

Tom Clougherty -

UK comes 22nd out of 36 OECD countries in 2020 International Tax Competitiveness Index, published by the US-based Tax Foundation. New analysis shows tax rises reportedly being considered by Treasury would make international position far worse.

After the Virus: A plan for restoring growth

After the Virus: A plan for restoring growth

Sajid Javid - Economy

Major new report by Sajid Javid MP and Centre for Policy Studies sets out a vision for economic recovery after the pandemic. Report stresses vital importance of Bank of England independence but argues that the Government and the Bank should consider a shift in its remit from targeting inflation to nominal GDP, in order to better deliver sustained growth.

Borrowing could hit £300bn as costs of coronavirus rise

Borrowing could hit £300bn as costs of coronavirus rise

Caroline Elsom - Economy

New Centre for Policy Studies ‘cost of coronavirus’ counter estimates a total direct and indirect cost to Government this year of £246 billion. This could bring total borrowing this year to approximately £300 billion. This total figure is roughly equivalent to double the UK’s current level of healthcare spending - in other words, enough to fund the NHS twice over

Carbon Border Tax would stop Britain hiding its true carbon emissions

Carbon Border Tax would stop Britain hiding its true carbon emissions

Tony Lodge - Tax

A new paper from the Centre for Policy Studies calls for the introduction of a Carbon Border Tax on carbon-intensive imports to reduce global emissions and better support domestic industries.

UK should adopt ‘full expensing’ to boost business

UK should adopt ‘full expensing’ to boost business

Stephen J. Entin -

Former Reagan adviser urges UK to adopt ‘full expensing’ as most cost-effective way to boost business 

Tax cuts don't have to be taxing

Tax cuts don't have to be taxing

Tom Clougherty -

The Centre for Policy Studies, the leading centre-right think tank, has released a new report which makes the case for the so-called “dynamic” effects of tax cuts.

The Costs of a Four-Day Week to the Public Sector

The Costs of a Four-Day Week to the Public Sector

Jethro Elsden - Public Services

A new report by Jethro Elsden for the Centre for Policy Studies, attempts to evaluate the costs for the public sector of a four-day work week.

Changing Gear: A Growth Budget to Boost the British Economy

Changing Gear: A Growth Budget to Boost the British Economy

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP - Economy

'Changing Gear: A Growth Budget to Boost the British Economy', authored by The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, explains how and why the British economy urgently needs a Budget for Growth to kick start a boost to the British economy.

Britain Beyond Brexit

Britain Beyond Brexit

Edited by George Freeman - General

'Britain Beyond Brexit' is a collection of essays by almost 40 leading politicians, edited by George Freeman MP. It unites Conservative MPs from north and south, left and right, Leave and Remain to set out ideas to take Britain forward after Brexit - including contributions from Sajid Javid, Ruth Davidson, Dominic Raab, Penny Mordaunt and Matt Hancock.

Think Small - A blueprint for supporting UK small businesses

Think Small - A blueprint for supporting UK small businesses

Nick King - Tax

‘Think Small’ is a new report which looks to make life a lot easier for small companies. It is authored by Nick King, Head of Business at the Centre for Policy Studies. The report calls for the Government to adopt an emblematic policy to champion small and family businesses: the Simple Consolidated Tax.