Research papers

Lifetime tax 2016

For many years, politicians have cited the high cost of living in the UK as a major challenge in need of a policy response. However, all too often it is government policy that causes the high cost of living. For example, energy bills rise because of ineffective “green taxes” and... Read more...

Property taxes in the UK and the regions

Property taxes impose a substantial burden on taxpayers across the country, despite frequent claims that property in the United Kingdom is undertaxed. This paper presents data showing how property taxes vary across regions compared to estimates of regional GDP, how their composition between Council Tax, business rates and stamp duty falls, and how... Read more...

The nanny state rich list

The influence of the public health lobby seems to be increasing. Not only do we have several quangos dedicated to the task such as Public Health England, but the Health and Social Care Act returned many associated competencies to local government. There are clearly areas in which guidance must be... Read more...

Rich man’s toy: The case for scrapping HS2

High Speed 2 is part of the Government’s effort to increase rail capacity between the North and South of England and to deliver greater economic growth in the North of England. Phase one, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to begin construction in 2017 (presuming Royal Assent is... Read more...

Taxing tenants: How taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants

The housing crisis has prompted the government to take a number of policy decisions aimed at making it easier for people to buy a home. Together with policies implemented by local authorities, much has changed in property markets for owner-occupying buyers, landlords and tenants. These changes are not sufficient to... Read more...

Britain after Brexit: A positive vision for taxpayers

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union so it is essential that politicians put together a plan for growth that ensures the security and stability of the economy. It should also be seen as an exciting opportunity to demonstrate that the UK is ready to do business... Read more...

Members of the board

In October 2010, the Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced that 192 Quasiautonomous Non-Governmental Organisations (quangos) would be abolished and a further 118 merged. What are colloquially referred to as quangos are in fact a combination of nonministerial departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and others. They have a wide... Read more...

The impact of the sugar tax on different drinks

Announced in the 2016 budget, the soft drinks industry levy (the sugar tax), will be paid by producers and importers of “water-based added sugar soft drinks” from April 2018. It is expected that the levy will have two rates (18 pence and 24 pence) dependent on the drink’s sugar content... Read more...

Defence Acquisition

The efficient procurement of defence equipment has long been a challenge for British governments. It is an extremely complex process that is yet to be mastered with vast sums of money invariably at stake – procurement and support of military equipment consumes around 40 per cent of annual defence cash... Read more...

Keeping Council Tax low in Windsor and Maidenhead

In Windsor and Maidenhead, our approach to Government is to only take in Council Tax what is absolutely necessary to spend to deliver high quality services at a low cost. In many authorities the elected representatives and their officials would say exactly the same thing – but in Windsor and... Read more...