Category: coronavirus

Big freeze in GDP should keep tax hikes on ice too

The latest UK GDP numbers were better than expected, but it would still be dangerous to raise taxes in the March Budget. This would be far too soon after a year when the economy contracted by nearly 10% and with a renewed decline almost certain this quarter. To recap, UK GDP rose by 1.2% m/m in December … Continue reading Big freeze in GDP should keep tax hikes on ice too

The pros and (mostly) cons of an online sales tax

The Sunday Times has reported that UK officials are mulling two new taxes on digital businesses – an online sales tax and an ‘excess profits tax’ – in order to help fill the hole in the public finances and support the High Street. In my view, both are bad ideas. In general, economists quite like … Continue reading The pros and (mostly) cons of an online sales tax

Have UK exports to the EU really been ‘slashed by 68%’?

The lead in Sunday’s Observer (7th February) was ‘Fury at Gove as exports to EU slashed by 68% since Brexit’. If this headline is even approximately right, this is indeed a ‘Brexit disaster’. Fortunately, some basic due diligence suggests that it’s completely over the top. The Observer claims that ‘the volume of exports going through … Continue reading Have UK exports to the EU really been ‘slashed by 68%’?