Category archives for Tax

The UK is sinking deeper into property inequality – here’s why

Tom Goodfellow

In the UK and in developing countries enormous wealth is generated from property. New approaches and action is needed to value and tax property wealth Outrage has been mounting over the untaxed incomes of the global elite, foreign ownership of urban land and soaring rents in the private rental sector.  Much of this boils down to two key matters: who owns property, and how they are … Continue reading

23 September 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

The hollowness of GDP: The case of Ireland

Ireland’s GDP statistics highlight the disconnect between ‘official’ growth and the real economy, and raise questions about the nature of growth itself In the last decade, the prominence afforded to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in political discourse has increasingly been challenged by a series of social and environmental critiques. These critiques – made by the likes of Wilkinson and Pickett, … Continue reading

22 September 2016 by
Categories: Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , | 1 comment

How Tax Inspectors Without Borders are tackling lost tax revenues

Gail Hurley

Developing countries lose billions annually through tax avoidance and evasion. New UN-led initiatives are helping but global action is still required. Tax, not development aid, was the front and centre issue at last year’s UN Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa.  The aim of the event was to thrash out the international community’s plan for funding the new … Continue reading

23 August 2016 by
Categories: Development, SPERI Comment, Tax | Leave a comment

When work doesn’t work

Sophie Moullin

The left’s focus on full employment fails to address the realities of work and family in the twenty-first century ‘The clue is in the name’, Ed Miliband said, Labour is ‘the party of work’.  The previous UK Labour party leader fought the 2015 general election on a manifesto that promised ‘to reward hard work’.  Yet soon after the election one … Continue reading

20 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Democratic primaries in the shadow of neoliberalism

David Coates

The Clinton/Sanders battle exposes the challenge of the centre-left to overcome its pre-crisis accommodation with neoliberalism One way of grasping what is now at stake in the on-going battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is to set that clash in the shadow of the Reagan/Thatcher neoliberal revolution of the 1980s. That revolution kept Democrats out of the White House, … Continue reading

2 June 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Onshore havens: Home, morality and tax

Rowland Atkinson

The homes and spaces of wealthy elites are a crucial missing part of the recent tax avoidance debates Recent revelations about tax avoidance have highlighted an important aspect of daily economic life – the role of space or, more specifically, the non-spaces of jurisdictions deemed to be ‘off-shore’ that are a key element of the financial system.  As sociologists and … Continue reading

31 May 2016 by
Categories: SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tax avoidance: Not illegal, just harmful and deviant?

The furore over tax avoidance, both by our national and international elites, reveals new social fault lines while highlighting a crisis of legitimacy to calls for togetherness and common purpose The word plutocracy combines two elements to its meaning – that of wealth and power. To live in a plutocracy, many argue, is to see the warping of the political … Continue reading

21 April 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

It’s not about tax evasion or avoidance, it’s about inequality

Focusing on politicians’ tax affairs misses the real point: the Panama Papers expose deep structural inequalities and their consequences The recent political stramash over the Mossack Fonseca revelations has involved endless media interviews, commentaries and expert pronouncements about whether David Cameron’s family had engaged in and benefited from sensible tax efficient investment strategies or from dubious tax evasion. This is … Continue reading

19 April 2016 by
Categories: Europe and the EU, Finance, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Re-framing the funding crisis in adult residential care

New ‘follow the money’ research investigates where the money paid to financialised care home chains goes In recent months large care home chains have told a story through the media of an imminent crisis in adult residential care. They say the increase to the minimum wage (to be introduced on April 1st 2016) and underpayment by local authorities for care … Continue reading

22 March 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talking the politics of welfare

Liam Stanley

More and more evidence shows that it matters considerably that British governments have lately been deploying the word ‘welfare’ in an official capacity Imagine you are a government minister or a particularly influential civil servant.  Lucky you: you are introducing some new legislation that, say, proposes that all benefit claimants must attend interviews within three days of making their first … Continue reading

16 March 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The making of the modern ‘Debt State’

What we know (and don’t know) about ownership of public debt In a previous contribution to SPERI Comment, I presented some of my research on the domestic ownership structure of the US federal debt. The findings showed that since the early 1980s, and especially since the onset of the global financial crisis, federal bonds have become heavily concentrated in the … Continue reading

10 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

From Cradle to the Grave? The decline of UK funeral policy provision

Liam Foster

The Conservative Government will face considerable challenges as people are unable to meet rising funeral costs While much is known about the ritual components of a funeral, very little is known about how individuals and families determine and plan for the financial costs associated with a funeral, and how they afford them. While funeral costs can be a potential source … Continue reading

8 March 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Property taxes, public services and wealth

Tom Goodfellow

Placing property taxation, redistribution and social justice in an ethical context Two weeks ago I was in Addis Ababa at a conference on taxation and development. Unexciting as this might sound to many, questions of tax strike at the heart of social justice.  Why else do many in Britain and elsewhere get so enraged about the existence of tax havens … Continue reading

24 February 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The government is right on pensioner protection – but for the wrong reasons

Craig Berry

Critics of the protection of pensioner benefit entitlements are playing into George Osborne’s hands The politics of austerity appears to have induced an unfortunate amnesia among the British political class. For a long time the state pensions ‘earnings link’ was a totemic issue on the left – almost mythically so.  For her critics, Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 decision to index the … Continue reading

14 January 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Old’ leftism, made new?

Stephanie Mudge

An important part of the ‘Millennial’ appeal of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US lies in the economic insecurity of younger generations In my last SPERI Comment, I highlighted some of the new realities of the neo-gilded age: huge economic and wealth inequality, long-term wage stagnation and the mounting problem of student loan debt.  I … Continue reading

8 December 2015 by
Categories: Debt, Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The rise and fall of the World Bank’s global pension model

The global economic crisis has prompted the rapid demise of a treasured neoliberal pet project In many ways neoliberalism still seems an unshakeable paradigm.  However, in the pension reform arena governments across the world are abandoning pension privatisation in favour of a return to a primary role for the state.  This post charts the rise and fall of pension privatisation … Continue reading

1 December 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Corbynomics: Part 2

Jonathan Perraton

The right questions are now being asked, but much fleshing out of the proposed partnership between an enabling state and a dynamic private sector is still needed The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader has changed the terms of debate over UK economic policy. Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell have already outlined a new approach to … Continue reading

18 November 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Pensions and the Coalition government: a mixed impact?

The new regime is still likely to leave millions of pensioners in poverty and will certainly not bridge the gap to the most affluent Pensions have for the moment largely slipped off the radar in the political debate.  However, they received considerable attention under the former Coalition government and there was a sense that pensioners had often got a ‘good … Continue reading

10 November 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corbynomics: Part 1

Andrew Gamble

Although sharing many of the biases of the ‘alternative economic strategy’ developed on the left in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, Corbyn’s economic programme is as yet no more than a pale reflection of the ideas of that era Corbynomics is high on aspiration, low on detail. The aspirations were set out in a short document produced by the … Continue reading

3 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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