How Britain could pay for its public services

标签: economist 经济学人
9人阅读 评论(0) 收藏 举报

Should it raise taxes on income, consumption or wealth?


ALMOST every morning Britons wake up to another alarming story about their threadbare public services. Police cuts are being blamed for a rise in violent crime. Over the winter the National Health Service only just stumbled along. The number of rough sleepers in England has almost trebled since 2010. These pressures are likely to intensify in the coming years, thanks in part to an ageing population. Official forecasts suggest that to put the public finances on an even keel over the long term, tax rises or spending cuts worth around £80bn ($111bn), or 4% of GDP, will be required. Spending cuts are not really an option. So politicians are thinking about how to raise taxes. How should they go about doing it?

Broadly speaking, a government can tax three things: income, consumption and wealth. Economists like taxes to be simple, progressive and to avoid unintentionally distorting behaviour. Progressivity is the guiding force for Labour’s tax policy. It would raise corporation tax from 19% to 26% and jack up taxes on those earning above £80,000 a year. Yet it is not clear that the tax system needs a big extra dose of progressivity. It is already about as redistributive as the OECD average, reducing pre-tax income inequality by about one-third. And beyond a certain point, progressivity conflicts with efficiency. Research by the OECD suggests that income taxes, more than those on consumption and wealth, strongly discourage people from working, thus cramping economic growth. This implies that Britain’s relatively low income taxes are a strength, rather than a problem to be fixed.

That leaves consumption and wealth taxes. VAT, a consumption tax which is levied at 20%, looks ripe for reform. With a plethora of carve-outs—for food, children’s clothes and much else—Britain’s VAT covers only about half of what the average person buys. That makes it the seventh-leakiest in the OECD. A bold reform would be to extend VAT to nearly all spending, which might be enough to fill Britain’s fiscal hole. By itself it would be regressive. So the government would need to help the losers. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think-tank, reckons that it could get rid of most VAT carve-outs, compensate the poor (say, by boosting benefits) and still have a lot of money left over.

Increasing wealth taxes, levied on everything from property to financial assets, is the final option. Some say that the wealthy already pay enough. Britain raises more of its overall tax take from wealth taxes than any other OECD country. However, wealth taxes tend to be the most growth-friendly. And while bubbly house prices have led to the economy’s stock of wealth booming in recent years, the take from wealth taxes has barely budged. Going after home-owners is politically poisonous, but before long the government’s hand may be forced.


- Does your app access any paid content or services?

苹果审核2.1支付回答方案Guideline 2.1 - Information NeededWe have started the review of your app, but we are no...
  • feifeiwuxian
  • feifeiwuxian
  • 2018-04-16 14:37:15
  • 12

the public type xxx must be defined in its own file

作为public 类应该和文件名一致 源文件中公关类名要与文件名相同。
  • itmyhome
  • itmyhome
  • 2011-11-25 09:17:42
  • 18792

How to Modify Public Network Information including VIP in Oracle Clusterware (文档 ID 276434.1)

APPLIES TO: Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version to [Release 11.2 to 12....
  • su377486
  • su377486
  • 2015-08-03 13:55:29
  • 1224

Onward How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul.epub

  • 2013年03月22日 02:02
  • 2.05MB
  • 下载

java错误提示------ The public type must be defined in its own file

The public type must be defined in its own file 翻译:公共类必须被定义在它自己的文件中 产生错误的原因: 1.定义Java类名同文件名不一样 ...
  • H002399
  • H002399
  • 2015-07-22 21:49:01
  • 4415

“The public type XYZ must be defined in its own file”解决方法

出现这个问题是由于定义的JAVA类同文件名不一致,解决方法 把文件名修改同XYZ一样的名字 或者 把类名修改成同文件名...
  • ITLionWoo
  • ITLionWoo
  • 2014-01-15 18:43:56
  • 7129

EventBus3.0报错..its super classes have no public methods with the @Subscribe annotation

  • zhongguobaozi
  • zhongguobaozi
  • 2017-04-07 16:54:33
  • 1846

JAVA错误:The public type *** must be defined in its own file***

出现The public type c must be defined in its own file这个问题,是由于定义的JAVA类同文件名不一致;   解决方法:   1、把文件名修改同公共类...
  • shengmingqijiquan
  • shengmingqijiquan
  • 2016-04-17 23:41:54
  • 6518

JAVA中 错误代码是 the public type must be defined in its own file 解决方法 android开发 java编程

一般是由于定义的JAVA类同文件名不一致;   解决方法:   1、把文件名修改同XYZ一样的名字;   2、把类名修改成同文件名;...
  • qq_21376985
  • qq_21376985
  • 2016-03-17 16:28:21
  • 1458

异常 EventBusException:its super classes have no public methods with the @Subscribe annotation

今天看了看 EventBus 的用法。 刚开始用的eclipse,复制了jar包之后,写了一些基本代码 运行,一切正常,也没有什么问题。然后把代码复制到Android Studio里面, Eve...
  • u013193363
  • u013193363
  • 2016-02-23 02:36:26
  • 6942
    访问量: 13万+
    积分: 4414
    排名: 8248