Boris Johnson has faced a Scottish Tory backlash after it emerged his flagship leadership plan for income tax cuts in England would be partly funded by Scots paying hundreds of pounds more. The former Foreign Secretary's proposal to increase the point at which people start paying the higher rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 would not benefit Scots, as the levy is devolved to Holyrood. But Mr Johnson intends to partly fund the £9.6 billion tax cut by increasing employee national insurance payments in tandem, a change that would apply across the UK. This would widen the existing cross-Border tax gap, with Scots paying a total of 53p in the pound on any earnings between the Scottish higher... … [Read more...] about Scots face paying hundreds of pounds more to fund Boris Johnson plan for English income tax cut
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Latest accounts for the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which operates in the North-East, show it is the poor relation in the former PM’s empire, with its income plunging 14 per cent last year When Tony Blair set up a sporting charity amid great fanfare just months after he was forced out of 10 Downing Street, he pledged he would use it ‘to put something back’ into the community. But latest accounts for the Tony Blair Sports Foundation show it is very much the poor relation in the former PM’s empire, with its income plunging 14 per cent last year to just over £260,000. The charity, which operates in the North-East, where Blair was an MP for 24 years, spent just £189,206 in 2013/14, a drop of £68,000 on the previous year. Staff costs took up the vast majority of spending, with a total of £101,565 paid to its three full-time employees and some volunteers and temporary workers. The chief executive is Blair’s loyal former constituency … [Read more...] about SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Tony Blair’s sport charity sees funds plunge
For the past few years, the global economy has been oscillating between periods of acceleration (when growth is positive and strengthening) and periods of deceleration (when growth is positive but weakening). After more than a year of acceleration, is the world heading towards another slowdown, or will the recovery persist? The current upswing in growth and equity markets has been going strong since the summer of 2016. Despite a brief hiccup after the Brexit vote, the acceleration endured not only Donald Trump’s election as US president but the heightening policy uncertainty and geopolitical chaos that he has generated. In response to this apparent resilience, the International Monetary Fund, which in recent years had characterised global growth as the “new mediocre”, upgraded its World Economic Outlook in July. Will the recent growth spurt continue over the next few years? Or is the world experiencing a temporary cyclical upswing that will soon be subdued by new tail … [Read more...] about Will world growth continue or are we heading for a slowdown?
On BBC Question Time on Thursday there was an exchange between an audience member and a Labour politician – Richard Burgon – that revealed how poor economic literacy deepens the democratic deficit. The audience member, a man who said he earned more than £80,000, rounded on Mr Burgon and called him a liar for claiming that Labour’s manifesto pledge of raising income taxes for those with salaries like his and larger would only affect the top 5% of the population. Yet Mr Burgon did not lie and the Labour party is right: 95% of workers earn less than £81,000. The man was undeterred, with a heartfelt plea that he was “not even in the top 50%” of earners. In fact, anyone with an annual salary of more than £25,500 would be in the top half of UK wage earners. Plenty of heads nodded along with the questioner’s falsehoods, underlining perhaps the post-truth nature of our times that many consider it better to be sincere than to be correct. The … [Read more...] about The Guardian view on election economics: there is an alternative
The World Bank's second-in-command has emerged as the European Union's candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Read more: Bretton Woods at 75: Has the system reached its limits? But the Bulgarian economist narrowly failed to gain a qualified majority used in EU voting, which requires getting the support of 16 of the bloc's 28 member states representing 65% of the EU's 500 million people. Nonetheless, she appears to be the EU's pick. After the vote, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Georgieva on Twitter. "Congratulations, @KGeorgieva on your nomination as Europe's candidate for Managing Director of the #IMF. You have all of the qualities needed to make an effective contribution to the IMF's mission," he wrote. Dijsselbloem also conceded defeat and congratulated his opponent on Twitter, wishing her "utmost success." The managing director of the IMF has traditionally been a European, while the head of … [Read more...] about EU picks Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF