Just weeks after the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaigned against Air Passenger Duty (APD) at Bristol Airport, the unpopular tax on holidaymakers has become a political hot potato in the region. Last week, the chairman of Cardiff Airport tabled an amendment to the Wales Bill in the House of Lords, asking for the devolution of APD on all flights from Welsh airports. If this was accepted, Cardiff Airport could then cut the duty and gain an enormous competitive advantage over its closest rival at Bristol Airport.
On a standard rate flight originating in Bristol or Cardiff to New York, APD adds £138 to the overall cost. For a longer flight to South East Asia that can rise to £170, while a family of four travelling to Florida with economy flights can expect a whopping £276 in duty alone. To have the ability to scrap this extra cost would give any airport a distinct advantage over others in the UK. Continue Reading
The BBC has reported upon the cuts being made to the Arts Council for Wales (ACW) in a recent article. The article, which was constructed to act more as a pre-emptive tug at the heart strings of theatre goers, suggests that the £300,000 cut to the budget would represent “potential problems” for the Council.
I’m not at this point going to start bashing everything artistic. After all, the creative industry is a multi-million pound industry and our artistic work differentiates us from every other species, but there is no question that many grants have been given to art that is by no means inclusive to the wider populace. Continue Reading
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls wrote in today’s Evening Standard about his alarming Mansion Tax plan. So, Mr Balls, can you answer these nine questions:
1. What bands and how much?
You said that those in homes valued between £2m and £3m will have to pay an extra £3,000 a year. But what would the other bands be, and how much would be payable in each band?
News broke this week from The Treasury that the “tax gap” between what is owed to HMRC and what is actually collected hit £34 billion last year. It’s an eye-catching figure and it understandably makes the millions of taxpayers who pay every penny they’re asked wonder why they bother.
HMRC attributed some £3.1 billion of the gap to tax avoidance, whilst another £14.2 billion came from uncollected Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions and Capital Gains tax. £12.4 billion of the gap came from VAT, whilst £3.9 billion of Corporation Tax and £2.9 billion of excise duties went AWOL. Continue Reading
A ground-breaking study into the amount of office space provided by public bodies to trade unions has revealed that many organisations up and down the country are ignoring government advice to restrict the use of taxpayer-subsidised facilities.
Over the last financial year, the total area provided to trade unions was 273,753 square feet, which is equivalent to the size of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. Despite this space having a market value of up to £27.4 million if it were in Central London, our research was only able to identify £307,093 in rental payments from the unions.