The curious case of the £500 million of missing CGT revenue

 

          During the run up to the  Coalition budget I argued that increasing the CGT rate would not  yield more revenue. Some Lib Dems wanted the rate raised to 40% or even 50%. The Chancelllor listened to the arguments, and decided on 28%. He said in his Budget speech that any higher rate was likely to lead to lower revenues. He had accepted the Laffer curve argument, the argument that if you raise the rate too high fewer gains are taken, and fewer rich companies and people come here or venture money here to make gains.

           So far so good, you might say. The only problem is, I do not believe that 28% is the optimum rate for CGT. History and past experience suggests revenues are maximised at rates below 20%. Maybe Labour was right in choosing 18% as a good rate for CGT. The Treasury, I was told, was pretty sure 28% was the optimum rate, the magic level at which revenue was maximised.

            Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I looked at the detail of the Treasury and OBR’s own forecasts following the Budget. There quite clearly shown, is a fall of £500 million or 15% in CGT receipts next year compared with this. It takes more than a year for the full effects of a new CGT rate to come in, given the lags in selling the assets, reporting the gains and then paying the tax. So the official forecasters themselves accept that 28% is not an optimum rate . They reckon the higher rate will cost the Treasury £500 million of lost revenue in the first full year. If the rate stayed the same, there presumably would have been no such drop off in tax revenue, given the fact that the economy is forecast to grow and company and London property asset values are likely to rise.  

              The government needs more revenue to meet  its large spending requirements. It cannot afford the £500 million CGT revenue drop next year. So why not take the rate back down to the Labour level, a level likely to increase the receipts? The way to tax the rich more, is to set competitive rates which attracts them here and gets them paying tax in the first place.

               The same is probably true of the new higher rate of Income Tax. Throughout most of its period in office Labour wisely stuck with the Conservative’s top rate of Income Tax of 40%. When first set, this was a very competitive rate which attracted businesses to the Uk with high earning employees. In more recent years many other countries have lowered their top Income Tax rates, making the UK less enticing. The increase to 50% has done damage and is doing damage. It is probably losing the UK revenue. Again, the government should want to tax the rich more by setting a competitive rate. If they reverted to the old cross  party 40% top rate they could well raise more revenue.

             Such reductions, though restoring Labour rates of tax and bringing in more revenue, would doubtless be attacked as helping the rich by the Labour opposition. No amount of explaining  that the aim is make the rich pay more will assuage them. So the Coalition could at the same time take more people out of tax at the other end of the income scale. It could also renew or extend its Council Tax freeze, as this tax hits lower income families hard if they are not on benefits.

             The government should also look at the impact business rates are having. Empty property rates can tip a business over the edge. The present level of business rates is part of the problem on the High Streets, where retailers find it difficult to cover all their costs from current levels of trading.

                        The government needs to tailor a package of tax cuts which help recovery and support business, without costing too much lost revenue. In some cases the tax “cuts” are a no brainer, as they should yield extra revenue.

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40 Comments

  1. Doppelganger
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    You write in your sentence: “During the run up to the Coalition budget I argued that increasing the CGT rate would yield more revenue.” Don’t you mean decreasing?

    Reply: Yes!

  2. Gary
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink


    The government needs more
    revenue to meet its large spending
    requirements.”

    How about the govt reduce its spending requirements ? The govt IS the problem.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Gary,
      I couldn’t agree more.

  3. norman
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The problem isn’t knowing that too high tax rates are a bad thing, it’s that the Conservative Party has ceded the fiscal argument to Labour for the last half a dozen years and the continued that in office raising CGT, retaining the 50% rate, raising NI, raising VAT, raising fuel duty, raising alcohol duty, raising…. You get the idea.

    To turn round and say ‘actually raising all these taxes may not have been a good idea’ would make senior politicians look foolish (how’s that £440 million Irish profit coming along George? Decided where to spend it yet?) and avoiding that is far more important than the well being of us poor proles.

    PS I don’t normally comment on typos but is the first sentence correct?

    Reply: Now amended.

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      In this case, as John showed, the Conservative led coalition has not conceded any such thing to Labour. Osborne could easily stand up in the HoC and announce that he was now persuaded that the tax rates in force when Labour left office were, actually, better at doing the job they are designed for than the ones he toyed with. As a result he would now re-apply Labour’s rates.

      Of course he would be open to criticism for making an 15 month error, but we are all entitled to correct such misjudgements before it is too late. Better a red face from Osborne than more red ink on the national accounts. And the red face would be shared by Balls who used to support those rates but now (when the economy is generating less income) wants more damaging ones.

      But do the government understand the point?

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I’m not George, but I don’t think the Irish profit is doing very well. George cut the interest rate so I don’t imagine there is much of it left.

      I don’t think it’s the fiscal argument that has been ceded to Labour, it’s more that the ‘politics of envy’ is now seen as legitimate. Taxation is now expected to do two jobs: raising revenue, but also making society more equal. The 50% rate probably doesn’t raise much extra revenue if any, but doesn’t it feel good?

      This isn’t an issue that can be wished away, unfortunately. Envy is powerful, and recently it has been made worse by legitimate complaints about bankrupt banks paying large bonuses with taxpayers’ money.

      Incidentally, I always wonder why Britain is different to America on this. The Tea Party seems able to support a tax exemption for private jets, and that would be political suicide here. Why do the British envy and want to hurt the rich, while a majority of Americans seem just to envy them?

      • uanime5
        Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        The reason is simple. In the UK having vast amounts of money isn’t seen as being successful here, it’s seen as being greedy and a tax evader. Those earning minimum wage in multi-national corporations generally aren’t as happy as Americans to hear that their CEO is getting a £7 million bonus.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    This is all so true and very obvious – why therefore is the government so obtuse and idiotic as to want to inflict pointless damage on the economy and raise less revenue as a result. Just one assumes in order to show that we are all in this together for pathetic PR reasons – for the LibDems mainly I assume.

  5. Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    So the dilemma with which you have personally been wrestling for years, just became that much more difficult. As you have been unable to get your point of view across on a clear point of principle and well established fact, eg the Laffer curve on CGT, on a topic where you are an acknowledged expert within your party – what point your loyalty over issues where you profoundly philosophically differ from your party’s policy, such as over the EU?

    Today we appear likely to get ever closer to the final crunch point on the Euro, the time to act is nigh! Tens of thousands of your countrymen expect some senior figure in Parliament to speak out against the present insanity, but your voice will remain unheard while it resonates only from the deadened depths of the Conservative backbenches!

    Reply: At least I have a Parliamentary voice, which is more than UKIP musters.

  6. zorro
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it PM David Heath who is refusing to countenance tax cuts to attract private investment and stimulate activity in a more business friendly environment in order that Nick C doesn’t throw a wobbly? Is it the case that the PM knows the right thing to do but won’t do it because of politics or does he not understand or accept the economic argument?

    In either case it is worrying because we will continue to have very weak growth and the Coalition’s bolt will be well and truly shot? How do you think your Newsnight spot? I don’t think that you persuaded your Lib Den colleague…..

    Zorro

  7. zorro
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Excuse the predictive text on my annoying phone

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The huge joke has been that, in Greece, paying tax is voluntary!

    We are getting that way too.

    Overtaxing businessmen means that they reach for the accountant and the lawyer. You note this. REducing tax is only part of the answer, though.

    What you do not say is that the Mail claims that HMRC are, since the Brooding Genius’ reforms, in total disarray too. This is urgent and needs urgent attention. If the Civil SErvice are not collecting the tax properly, then revenue will most certainly fall too.

  9. lojolondon
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    What we need is a flat rate, from the £10k 0% onwards – say 25%. Add that to VAT and everyone is paying 45% over £10k. It is actually far too much, but that can come down when we are in positive cashflow. Meanwhile, the three areas that desperately need to be cut are Dave’s ‘ringfenced’ items. Labour doubles NHS spending without improvement, so logically that could be cut 50% without negatively affecting services. International aid benefits Quangos, the mafia, despots and administrators, and barely any needy people.
    Two more areas – I keep hearing how ‘charities are struggling from government cuts’ – it is NEVER the government’s role to support charities, never. If taxpayer’s money is to be spent to achieve something, it should be through government channels, NOT on charities.
    The BBC – outrageously biased and one-sided, even if they were even-handed, they need to be cut free to perform as an efficient organisation, and that means just one thing – they need to sell advertising to stay afloat, like every other media organisation in the western world.
    Lastly, probably the most important – the EU – tens of Billions of pounds wasted every year on joining a club which ties both hands behind our back. LEAVE.

  10. Robbo
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The other problem is that with the end of indexation, CGT is now due on nominal gains arising from inflation, which in turn arises from government printing money to hold down nominal interest rates – oh sorry I should have said ´quantitative easing´. A ´stealth tax ‘ indeed . It is no surprise that everyone who can is deferring realising their capital gains as long as possible, in the hope that the insanity would at some point be curtailed. Defering realisation of gains effectively locks in past investment decisions, meaning malinvestments (ie past bad decisions) are not unwound. It seems to me this is a triple whammy: 1) rate too high, 2) tax on inflation 3) malinvestments locked in.
    Grrrrr !

  11. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, isnt the same happening with the 20% VAT figure ie. total income has dropped as a result? I’m sure I saw a table recently in The Economist that said as much but if anyone knows better it will be your goodself!

  12. Caterpillar
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “The way to tax the rich more, is to set competitive rates which attracts them here”

    Does this simply set up an international prisoners’ dilemma game (unless mobility costs are greater than potential gains)?

    (Also on CGT, could we dump stamp dyuty and have CGT on 1st homes?)

  13. alan jutson
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Killing the goose that layed the golden egg springs to mind.

    People have a choice as to when to sell assets, many may have sold prior to the rise, many will have retained, hoping the rate will change.

    This may be one of the reasons for the reduction in first years figures.

    When tax rates are too high some people find alternative means to circumvent taxation, with all sorts of actions, from legal tax avoidance schemes, to barter arrangements and cash deals.

    Not aware as to where UK is in the tax escape league, but many countries wordwide have significant unlawful alternative economies working alongside the official economy, simply because that is the only way the people feel they can survive or earn a living.

    The argument:
    I need the money more than the state does.
    I spend the money better than the state does.
    Why should I pay the state a greater share, than I get for actually doing the work.

    It is a fact of life that the higher the tax rate, the higher the rewards are for non payment of tax.

    The fact that so many government leaders, politicians, presidents, kings, tribal leaders and the like, Worldwide, who are seen to feather their own nests at the expense of their countries citizens, does not help the cause. Neither does the huge waste of proflicate spending on pet projects help.

    I see from reports in thePress that the huge NHS computer system is now being regarded as a failure, as it is proving unworkable and will probably never work, cost suggests £4.8 billion wasted.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      See Ed Balls may have cost us taxpayers another £1 million in possible compensation (press reports) for the unlawful sacking of Ms Shoesmith.

      Makes you wonder when a Government Minister (at the time) does not even know how to sack someone correctly, or does not understand the employment laws that he helped draft. If the man was in private industy that action could have ruined him financially for life, now all that happens, is that it helps ruin us.

      What a shambles, and the man is shadow chancellor !

      Only in the UK would someone get away with this incompetence.

      • Dan
        Posted August 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        “Only in the UK would someone get away with this incompetence.”

        Like the way Ms Shoesmith is likely to get away with her incompetence!

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    It isn’t just the Labour party who would attack restoration of the lower tax rates. Your so-called colleagues in cabinet, Alexander and Cable, have both recently rubbished such suggestions. They seem to be able to say anything they like which is critical of the Conservatives whilst your colleagues are continually praising them for their “political courage”. The sooner they are put in their place the better for the country.

  15. Anthony Harrison
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    1. Gary (above) has it: the government is the problem, and public spending has to be cut drastically. The State is far too big for democratic comfort, and spends way too much of its citizens’ money that should be circulated/invested/saved by citizens themselves.
    2. All three parties abhor tax reductions, Labour and the LDs because they are disposed ideologically to tax & spend and think Big Government is a Good Thing, the Conservatives because (a) they are almost as addicted to spending other people’s money as their opponents, and (b) they are terrified of criticism from the powerful alliance of a Leftist commentariat and that large constituency of net recipients of State largesse which insists on being subsidised permanently by others and which will always vote accordingly.
    This is by now so entrenched that it is hard to see a way out unless we were to be endowed miraculously with wise, tough minded, statesmanlike leaders with genuinely conservative/libertarian ideas and who could bang heads together. The present incumbents do not fit the bill.

  16. Fernando
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    “There quite clearly shown, is a fall of £500 million or 15% in CGT receipts next year compared with this….They reckon the higher rate will cost the Treasury £500 million of lost revenue in the first full year.”

    Isn’t this a non sequitur? The forecast drop in CGT receipts could be because of falling or stagnant asset prices rather than a rise in the rate. Alternatively, the treasury might have found that tax payers had crystallized their gains early to take advantage of the lower rate.
    Have you asked the Treasury?

    Reply Past experience shows CGT revenues in the UK and US rise when you cut the rate, and perform less well when you increase it.

  17. David John Wilson
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The need to look at property rates both empty and high street is much more complex than you imply. While rates on empty properties should not be at a level where they put companies under too much finacial pressure they must be at a level where they discourage companies from holding onto empty properties and allowing them to deteriorate. A better scheme would be to reduce the actual rate to say 50% of full rate but also allow expenses for maintenance and refurbishment to be set against that reduced rate.

    Similarly while their is an obvious need for many high street rates to be reduced a careful consideration needs to be taken of how rooms over shops are rated. In many cases these are used for storing rubbish when they could be much better employed if they reverted to their original use as accomodation. As a member of the local histury society some years ago I was able to see the upper stories of a number of the older shops in Wokingham and I was horrified by the number of rooms which were just abandonned.

    • nemesis
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      If the business rates were set and remitted to the Local Authority (which I believe has been mooted) it would set LAs in competition with each other to attract business at the same time concentrating the minds of Councillors with regards to decisions on planning and parking issues.

  18. Gordon McKeown
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’m convinced by the general case for lower tax rates to stimulate growth and the notion of an optimal rates with decreasing returns at higher rates. However you need to be very careful with this particular statistic. Many assets have fallen in price over recent years and it is also possible that individuals are delaying sales until economic conditions improve and prices harden. I suppose that there is also the issue of whether someone thinks that tax rates will go up or down within their potential time frame for selling an asset.

    • Gordon McKeown
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I posted in haste, it hadn’t registered that the missing £500M is a projection… Still I suppose the Treasury model might include these factors. It would be interesting to ask them from a modelling viewpoint what the impact of different rates of CGT would be and what the supporting rationale is.

  19. William Norton
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t disagree with the general argument being advanced but the £500m downward revision of the estimated CGT receipts is probably driven more by the downward revision of the growth estimates?

    There are lots of reasons why we’re going to undershoot the growth forecasts (apparently, the current favourite is to blame the weather) but the CGT hike, whilst unhelpful, may not be the decisive factor.

  20. Mark
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    GT is mainly paid in January in respect of the tax year ended the previous April. If we look at the receipts for income tax and CGT in January, 2010 (Series LIBR in Table PSF3 in the monthly ONS budget financing report), we find it was £19.9bn, while in 2011 that rose to £24.3bn – a difference of some £3.4bn. If we compare these tax receipts for the months of February-June in the respective years we find they total £59.5bn in 2011, down from £60.6bn in 2010. (The April-June figures show an increase from £29.4bn to £29.9bn, whereas the Budget red book was forecasting an increase of £6.1bn in gross income tax receipts for the year – suggesting that the 50% rate is resulting in lower revenues, as National Insurance receipts are much more in line with forecast and employment numbers are above forecast).

    A tougher CGT regime was well signalled in advance of the election, whichever government was to win. Thus it would appear that there was a large element of tax planning, with those sitting on gains choosing to crystallise them ahead of the election and pay Darling’s relative bargain 18% rate – of itself a sharp increase compared with the tapered rate of just 10% available previously. If the entire £3.4bn of extra January revenue is early crystallised CGT, then it implies that not just £500m will go missing, but £5.3bn (28×3.4/18) over the next few years. The Budget forecast in Table C.3 of the Red Book shows a current receipts basis – i.e. the CGT received in a financial year relates to the tax in the previous one. I forecast a very disappointing January, 2012 for the Chancellor, even if he had a bumper January 2011.

    The present CGT regime does not do what it claims. Because it makes no allowance for inflation, it is not a tax on gains, but on the realisation of assets that have been held for a long period. Instead of selling her share portfolio to finance the nursing home or gift a grandchild, Granny should now borrow against it: her estate will only be subject to IHT after the loan is repaid when she passes on, and the interest bill will likely be less that the CGT would have been.

    If the government wanted to raise more revenues while cutting taxes that benefit the less well off, they could consider a sharp cut in tobacco taxation to choke off legal and illegal imports where such tax revenues as are paid currently benefit our EU neighbours (this should really be counted as part of our EU contributions). It would appear that beer consumption has fallen to more than offset the increase in duty levied, so a cut might have the reverse effect. There are some import effects similar to those for tobacco as well. Duty on champagne for socialists should perhaps be increased.

    The closure of the Morecambe field and collapse in drilling and exploration activity suggests that more tax might be raised from the North Sea by revising the new regime, with the added benefit of reducing our reliance on energy imports.

  21. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The clowns in charge are not Tories and know they won’t win at the next election. Cameron carries on decimating our armed forces and forcing up the debt by increasing foriegn aid. No one is interested in common sense. He will be networking for a job in Brussels after the next election.

  22. oldtimer
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree entirely with your comments. I wrote to my MP about the implications of raising CGT to 28% without index linking, citing your arguments about this at the time. The reply from Mr Gauke, and forwarded on to me, said the reason for choosing 28% was administrative convenience!

    In its present form, CGT is a pernicious tax. With the effects of inflation and without any indexation to compensate for this, it can only encourage short termism. To compensate the government has introduced another thicket of exemptions and regulations and adjustments, a characteristic of too much of the government`s tax regime. The same effect is to be seen in its tortured efforts to get around the disastrous implications of its green energy policies. Will they never learn?

  23. sm
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    CGT – Relies on a capital gain… made difficult if we have a deflating money supply which will force asset prices down. If we have an inflationary situation, we may well see an inflationary depression as necessities and low wage increase force asset prices down in real terms.

    We should look at income tax and CGT together as avoiding one in favour of the other is sometimes possible. Ask a banker’s tax accountant or read private eyes story in part on “derivative derecognition” schemes. Perhaps all theses schemes via the disclosure scheme should be made public? That would help with the public interest bit and shore up transparency and openess. Confidential for multiantional maybe.. but dont do it if you dont want to defend it publicly.

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&issue=1291

  24. David Hepburn
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    The problem seems to me to be that the senior partner in the Coalition has the (very) junior party in thrall. So it becomes difficult to avoid the wishes of Clegg et al and the taxes have to be raised to assuage their wishes…

    I am a ‘flat-rater’ as far as tax is concerned with a very suitable threshold for the poor. Easy to collect. No red tape.

  25. Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    John, the stated objective of the increase in the CGT higher rate was not to increase receipts from CGT. It was to stop people avoiding income tax using tax avoidance strategies that include CGT, hence the LD policy of setting it at the same rate as income tax.

    That was the clearly stated objective, and a fall in CGT revenues (and you’re only looking at the published-at-time-of-budget projections now?) would be expected if you were setting out an anti-avoidance strategy, the question is whether there’s an equal, or larger, rise in projected higher rate income tax revenues. Or indeed an actual rise in income tax revenues.

  26. nonny mouse
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Two observations:

    Doesn’t a lower CGT tax take mean that Osborne cut taxes? Surely that is what most Conservatives are calling for?

    The CGT revenues would have probably gone down anyway due to the business cycle and stagflation.
    – There is less distress selling of assets to make up for cash flow problems caused by the recession, reducing asset sale volumes.
    – There is probably less FDI being repatriated out of the UK as other countries recover (excluding Japan which is repatriating capital to pay for reconstruction).
    – There are more losses from the big recession to offset against capital gains. Asset prices fell and are slow to recover so capital gains are lower.
    – The housing sector is weak so owners are holding onto houses rather than selling. This is true for the BTL market (which is subjet to CGT) as well as owner occupiers (which is not).
    – Businesses can’t get loans to buy new assets, which reduces volume of asset sales and capital gains from the seller.
    – Private sector businesses in general are cash flow positive and paying off debt, not buying new assets. CGT will spring back when confidence returns and they can switch to repaying banks to investing in new capacity, i.e. buying assets.

    Are there any figures for asset values or transactions rather than just measuring CGT from asset price gains at the time of sales? It is a poor measure to determin what is actually happening in the economy.

  27. outsider
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Having agreed strongly in principle with your own proposals for CGT last year, I am not going to disagree with you now. But the OBR forecast for one year ahead is not enough evidence to show that receipts will fall as a result of the unfair 28 per cent rule. The OBR is probably looking at house prices, especially in the buy-to-let sector. Looking ahead, the resurgence in inflation may artificially boost receipts.

    On the wider point of incentives and tax rates, the same principle should apply at the top and the bottom of the income scale. At the top, tax can be lost if high rates drive people elsewhere. At the bottom, marginal rates (including withdrawal of credits) deter people from working, particularly in part-time jobs. There is an international dimension here too because migrant workers incur a much lower marginal rate that their domestic “rivals”.

    Would it be a good idea to have something like the Rooker/Wise indexation rule, to the effect that the maximum tax and withdrawal rates at the top should normally equal the maximum tax and withdrawal rates at the bottom? This would have the added political advantage that those most concerned with poor people and those most concerned with wealth creation could speak with one voice.

  28. JimF
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    We all know the answer as to why CGT levels were raised-it went down well with Lib Dems who are in to spread the false dogma that soaking the rich with high % taxes will help the poor.
    It doesn’t work. The so-called rich won’t take that hit. As the correspondent above says, borrow against assets rather than realise their value.

  29. stred
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that you do not make more of the difference between the types of people hit by the removal of indexation from CGT. The small investor, who wisely decided to mistrust the financial spivs selling pensions and taking the potential investment gains in charges and churning,may have invested in a property 20+ years ago and will be paying real tax at 60% or more.

    Meanwhile, the city boys will continue to take their income in short term share options etc and pay far less than the 50% rate. That the takings have dropped already is an indicator that the first category is postponing realising their ‘pension’ in hope that the tax on unreal gains will be changed. And this tax is heralded as ‘fair’. What hypocrisy.

  30. Chris Bates
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Mark makes a good point above – Jan ’12 will be certainly be disappointing for tax receipts. Lots of gains were realised in 09/10 (paid Jan ’11) with the expectation of higher CGT and of course 50% on income. Some of this CGT is probably artificial to create director accounts for small companies to draw down on, resulting in less income tax as the drawings are from taxed amounts. Because of the 50% tax rate, dividends will often be restricted to £135k to keep below 50% rate. So there is behavioural disparity in the comparisons between years although I suspect the 28% is too high for optimum collection.

  31. uanime5
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Can someone explain how removing the 50% tax rate is meant to attract investors? I find it hard to believe that an entrepreneur would willingly close down their business and fire all their staff in one country, just so they could restart their business in another country and make slightly more money. The logistics alone would be a nightmare.

    Do you mean that investors will set up a branch of their company in this country? If so then removing the 50% tax rate will have little effect because the number of staff they’ll hire that earn over £150,000 is likely to be very small. What would make investors more likely to invest in this country is drastically reducing the minimum wage as most of the employees a new company hires will be at the lower end of the pay scale. A low minimum wage, rather than a low rate of taxation, is what causes companies to set up branches in India, China, and Eastern Europe.

    Reply: There is a lot of footloose investment money which will tend to go to the lower tax advanced countries. Businesses already in the UK think about relocating parts odf their business, or directing new investment to lower tax jurisdictions. Mr Branson has recently announced a change of domicile for one of his businesses, going to Switzerland.

  32. Gregory
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The Labour Part reference to the Conservative Led Coalition doesn’t seem to fit the bill of those odd activities supported by the Government.It seems to me that the most appropriate description is the Lib Dem led coalition.I see very few Conservative values appearing fro this Government.Gregs

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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