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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.

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.

The City Boys are Here to Stay

The City Boys are Here to Stay

Daniel Mahoney, Jon Moulton and Tim Knox - Economy

The UK's strengths will mean that London continues to be Europe's leading financial services centre.

A licence to kill? Funding the BBC

A licence to kill? Funding the BBC

Martin Le Jeune - Public Services

On 1 September the BBC TV licence fee will be extended to the iPlayer. The licence fee is however bad for the BBC and bad for customers and it should be abolished.

The Independence Revolution must go on

The Independence Revolution must go on

Daniel Mahoney - Social Policy

The Government’s record in reducing dependency on the State is strong, but there is plenty more to do..

Apocalypse Soon? The Danger of Further Loosening Monetary Policy

Apocalypse Soon? The Danger of Further Loosening Monetary Policy

Daniel Mahoney, Jon Moulton and Tim Knox -

The UK’s softening fiscal stance opens up the very real risk of a further loosening of monetary policy, whereby inflation is used as a way of dealing with the Government’s debts.

The Pensions Dashboard

The Pensions Dashboard

Michael Johnson - Pensions

Fully functioning, the pensions dashboard could become the ultimate disruptor of incumbent industry providers, but merely providing information will not embed the dashboard into the consciousness of the general public.

The Great Overtake

The Great Overtake

Daniel Mahoney - Economy

The OECD forecasts that the UK's GDP is expected to surpass Germany in the mid 2030s.

No End to the Greek Tragedy

No End to the Greek Tragedy

Michael Iakovidis, Daniel Mahoney and Tim Knox -

Greece’s latest round of fiscal consolidation will hamper economic growth. Unless a package of targeted reforms that is aimed at improving competitiveness comes forward, the Greek economy will be destroyed.