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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.

CPS response to Labour's key revenue raisers

CPS response to Labour's key revenue raisers

Daniel Mahoney -

CPS responses to the three centrepiece "revenue raisers" from the Labour manifesto

A Pensions and Savings Manifesto

A Pensions and Savings Manifesto

Michael Johnson - Pensions

Michael Johnson outlines some reforms to pensions and savings that political parties should consider while writing their General Election manifestos.

Why Corporation Tax Cuts Work

Why Corporation Tax Cuts Work

Daniel Mahoney -

Corporation tax cuts have had a positive impact but Labour have threatened to reverse them

Auto-Protection

Auto-Protection

Michael Johnson - Pensions

The 2015 liberalisation of pensions was welcome but the risk management is needed.Michael Johnson proposes "auto-protection" at private pension age.

Fiscal Prudence Triumphs over Political Gimmicks

Fiscal Prudence Triumphs over Political Gimmicks

Daniel Mahoney -

The Chancellor made the right decision not to splash the cash at the Spring Budget

Helping JAMs without breaking the bank

Helping JAMs without breaking the bank

Daniel Mahoney - Economy

Proposals to help ordinary working families that won't break the bank for the Chancellor

LGPS: A Lost Decade

LGPS: A Lost Decade

Michael Johnson - Pensions

Michael Johnson reports on the "Lost Decade" for the local government pension schemes that has seen costs skyrocket with no reward for savers.

The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

Brian Sturgess - Economy

The Bank of England must stop ‘depending on kindness of strangers’ to bolster the UK economy.

80% of fund management industry redundant

80% of fund management industry redundant

Michael Johnson -

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to be congratulated on its recent interim Asset Management Market Study. Its robust, independent and damning evidence skewers any justification that active fund management of listed assets is worth the candle. The consequences for the asset management industry are potentially devastating, but radical surgery is long overdue.

Grade B for Hammond's last Autumn Statement

Grade B for Hammond's last Autumn Statement

Daniel Mahoney and Tim Knox - Economy

Daniel Mahoney and Tim Knox provide a detailed examination of the UK final Autumn Statement.

Infrastructure can be a bad investment

Infrastructure can be a bad investment

Daniel Mahoney, Tim Knox and George Trefgarne -

Often justified in terms of being “affordable” in a world where the current cost of government borrowing is extraordinarily low, advocating high levels of infrastructure spending is firmly in fashion.

The State Pension: No Longer Fit for Purpose

The State Pension: No Longer Fit for Purpose

Michael Johnson - Pensions

The State Pension is facing fiscal calamity. Total spending on it has increased by 25% since 2010-11. Michael Johnson urges the Government to take action.

Labour's £17,500 bill for families 

Labour's £17,500 bill for families 

Daniel Mahoney and Tim Knox -

Labour’s plans on infrastructure, welfare, employment legislation, tuition fees and shale gas could cost every household nearly £17,500 in just one parliamentary term.

Dashboard Implementation

Dashboard Implementation

Michael Johnson - Pensions

The ABI Should Be Nice Retaliatory Forgiving and Clear.

An ISA-centric framework beckons

An ISA-centric framework beckons

Michael Johnson - Pensions

The recent publication of the Savings (Government Contributions) Bill confirmed that the Government intends to press ahead with the Lifetime ISA, to be launched in April 2017. This is welcomed.