Research papers

One big hit: fixing national insurance for good

Key findings The government plans to raise the employee national insurance threshold in April from £166 to £183 a week, equivalent to £9,500 a year, with an ‘ultimate ambition’ of £12,500 a year. This is welcome news for taxpayers, but implementing the entire change in one go would enable historic... Read more...

Local authority spending on settlement agreements

Introduction Settlement agreements are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee that set out the terms surrounding the termination of employment. The purpose of settlement agreements is to resolve any disputes between the two parties that could not be resolved as part of internal procedures, and prevent future... Read more...

Briefing: public appointments

In 2018-2019 there were 1,844 public appointments and reappointments to quangos and NHS bodies in England and Wales. 8.6 per cent of all appointees and reappointees made in 2018-2019 declared significant political activity. Of these, 47.4 per cent were Labour party supporters, 31.6 per cent declared an affiliation to the... Read more...

The Nanny State Rich List 2020

Introduction The publication of our Nanny State Rich List in 2018 showed that the size and excess of public health organisations throughout the UK is increasing. Not merely content with implementing a punitive sugar tax on the population in 2018[1], there have been calls by the former England chief medical... Read more...

O’ Little Star: Council Christmas celebrities

Introduction The Christmas lights switch-on is an annual opportunity for communities to gather together and bring in the festive season. While these are community events, councils sometimes turn to celebrities to add some glamour, meaning a cost to the taxpayer for the fees of TV “stars”. This note shows that... Read more...

The tax on Christmas 2019

Introduction With rising inflation and the highest tax burden in 50 years, many households in the UK are struggling with the cost of living.1 Unfortunately, the joys of the festive season also bring additional pressures on household finances. Research from Deloitte shows that the average UK consumer intends to spend... Read more...

Mandarin millionaires: public sector pension pots

Introduction The senior civil servants who lead Whitehall government departments can look forward to some of the most generous retirement packages in the public sector, with a £24.5 million pension pot between them in 2018-19. This is a 22.8 per cent increase from 2017-18, when the pot was just below... Read more...

Briefing: post-war tax burdens by prime minister

Click here to download the briefing as a PDF   Higher tax burden under Boris Johnson (34.4 per cent) than any prime minister since Attlee. Further rise to 34.8 per cent by 2023-24 if Johnson re-elected. Term-average of 34.7 per cent. Corbyn to impose highest tax burden ever, at 37.9... Read more...

Wasting Monet? Local authority artworks

Introduction Local authorities own a significant amount of artwork. Museums, galleries and libraries are part of the public sector and often under the remit of their local authority. Some authorities’ pieces of art are of significant value. Local authority art collections extend far beyond galleries and museums, with only some... Read more...

Workplace parking levies

Executive summary A workplace parking levy is a local tax on employers who provide parking spaces to their employees. Nottingham has one already and Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds and Oxford are considering introducing them. Traffic levels initially fell after Nottingham introduced their levy but have since risen. Traffic counts were falling... Read more...

Raise the stamp duty threshold to £1 million

Introduction Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is levied on property transactions above a threshold (£125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential properties). By introducing another charge on homeowners to the already costly process of moving, SDLT means that for some people who might consider moving, the benefits no longer... Read more...

Raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million

Introduction Inheritance tax is levied on the estate of someone who has died. It applies to the value of the estate above the £325,000 threshold currently in place, and is charged at a single rate of 40 per cent. Exemptions currently in place include transfers between spouses and civil partners,... Read more...