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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.

Carbon Border Tax would stop Britain hiding its true carbon emissions

Carbon Border Tax would stop Britain hiding its true carbon emissions

- 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

- 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.

A Budget for No Deal

A Budget for No Deal

Centre for Policy Studies - Economy

The British Government and the EU insist they do not want a "no-deal" Brexit, yet it remains a possibility. That is why we have set out measures the Chancellor should consider in a no-deal scenario.

The Truth About Britain's Railways

The Truth About Britain's Railways

Conor Walsh -

The New Year brings the traditional grumbling about the cost of train fares - especially since punctuality has fallen to its lowest level since 2005. Yet new CPS analysis suggests that Britain's rail network is in better shape than many people realise.

All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck

Guy Opperman MP and Laura Farris - Economy

Businesses and employers can and should do more to help close Britain’s productivity gap. Guy Opperman MP suggests Britain businesses should follow the example of US firms who found high employee engagement was reflected in at least a 20% boost to productivity and profitability.

Make Work Pay

Make Work Pay

Tom Clougherty - Tax

'Make Work Pay' puts forward major proposals to reshape the tax system around a simple principle: to make work pay. One key proposal is to raising National Insurance threshold to create a universal working income, free of income tax and National Insurance.

From Rent to Own

From Rent to Own

Alex Morton - Housing

The UK needs an ownership revolution. 'From Rent to Own' proposes that for a single year, the Government should turn the Capital Gains Tax payable by a landlord on sale of a rented home into a rebate shared between landlord and tenant.

Five Proposals for Savings Reform

Five Proposals for Savings Reform

Michael Johnson - Pensions

The complexity, cost, and inflexibility of the pensions system, combined with widespread distrust of the pensions industry, is putting basic rate taxpayers off saving for their futures. Michael Johnson puts forward 5 reforms to turn the tide on Britain's saving habits.