Tax: related links
:Tory women revolt on marital tax break
'David Cameron is facing a rebellion from women within his own party against his decision to reward marriage through tax breaks.
Senior Tory figures fear their leader's move could alienate single mothers, as well as millions of cohabiting couples.
MPs and parliamentary candidates say Cameron, who has emphasised marriage as the bedrock of society, risks moralising about people's personal relationships.'
:Tory options on VAT: lessons from history
'ConservativeHome are asking how the Conservatives should address Labour's claim that they plan to put up VAT.
As Guido Fawkes summarises:
"[Tim Montgomerie] makes five suggestions: admit VAT will rise to 20%, time limit it, ameliorate the regressiveness, promise a focus on cutting the deficit, launch a growth manifesto."
Fawkes suggests another alternative: not putting up regressive taxes.
Still another Conservative option would be to deny it, and to do it anyway.'
'Nick Timmins offers a detailed account of how the Tories kept secret of 15% tax hike, discussing an increase from 8% to 15 or 17.5% in February 1978, and agreeing a secret policy of a 15% rise immediately after the election.
Despite this the Daily Mail, with official CCHQ encouragement, attacked Labour claims of a secret Tory plan to double VAT as one of "Labour’s dirty dozen lies".'
:Tory tax allies 'subsidised' by the taxpayer
'Taxpayers' Alliance accused of using charitable arm to claim gift aid on donations from wealthy backers
Though the Taxpayers' Alliance denies it is a 'Conservative front organisation', it is influential in party circles: in October, George Osborne, above, proposed a public sectory pay freeze recommend a month earlier by the alliance.
A campaign group which claims to represent the interests of ordinary taxpayers is using a charitable arm which gives it access to tax relief on donations from wealthy backers, the Guardian has learned.'
:David Cameron: I misspoke over marriage tax breaks
Misspoke: David Cameron
'David Cameron admitted today that he had "messed up" over the Tories' commitment to a marriage tax break, but insisted it would be delivered within a Parliament.
After days of Labour claims that Conservative tax policy was in disarray, the Tory leader sought to draw a line by saying he had simply "misdescribed" his party's position.
Confusion about the policy partly overshadowed a major Tory election campaign launch on Monday, when Mr Cameron appeared to downgrade his commitment to a tax incentive for marriage.'
:Tory plans for married couples tax breaks under fire
'Conservative plans for tax breaks for married couples have come under fire from both Labour and the Lib Dems.
Tory minister William Hague defended the proposal, saying: "It has got to be right to support families and supporting marriage is part of that."
But Schools Secretary Ed Balls said the policy was "unfair" and amounted to "social engineering".
And Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said it was an expensive "bribe" that would prove unfair to many good parents.'
:Tories' chaotic retreat on married tax break
'The Tories went into retreatyesterday over plans to give married couples a tax break.
Senior party sources said no details or costings of the plans for David Cameron's flagship policy would be published until after the election.
And former leader Iain Duncan Smith, who first called for the tax break, said the Tories should consider a cut-price version of the £4.9 billion plan.
The back-pedalling comes amid growing unhappiness in the shadow cabinet at the current proposal which discriminates against single-parents and couples where both work. Instead it favours rich families, where only one partner works, by letting them share their tax-free allowance.'
:Ken Clarke warns Tories against making "calamitous" cuts
Kenneth Clarke said the Tories might have to raise Vat
'KENNETH CLARKE, the shadow business secretary, this weekend urged Tory colleagues not to make "damaging and unsupportable" spending cuts, hinting that Vat might have to be raised to help close the budget gap.
Clarke warned that George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, would be "limited" in the scale of spending reductions he could make immediately after a Conservative election victory.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Clarke urged Osborne to delay any emergency budget until the new cabinet was "up to speed on the best advice of the department".
Clarke's blunt remarks will be seen as a warning to right-wing Tories who regard the budget squeeze as a chance to slash the size of the state. The Conservatives have pledged to ring-fence spending on health and international development, but there has been speculation that budgets in other departments will be slashed by 20%.'
:Cameron's Euro MPs vote against plans to tackle tax dodgers and target tax havens
By Arlene McCarthy MEP
'In a vote in the European Parliament today (Wednesday 10th February), British Conservatives voted against proposals supporting the automatic exchange of information to crack down on those seeking to hide their money from the tax authorities.
Vice Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee, Arlene McCarthy MEP, said:
"Tory Euro MPs' actions make a mockery of George Osborne's pledge at Tory Party Conference "to target tax evasion and offshore tax havens". We should judge the Tory Party by their actions not by their words. Weakening proposals which seek to crack down on tax dodgers using tax havens shows they are not serious about tackling tax cheats.
"The Tories cannot be trusted on tax, time and again they protect and prioritise the wealthy and privileged minority over law abiding taxpayers."'
:New Tory tax credit chaos
'The Conservative party were on the defensive last night over their planned cuts to the Child Tax Credit amid accusations that their sums don't add up.
A Conservative party press release accompanying George Osborne's conference speech last year outlined that:
"The Government should stop paying tax credits to households with incomes over £50,000 by starting to means-test the Family Element of the Child Tax Credit at a lower threshold. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies this would save £400 million a year or £2.0 billion over the next Parliament."
In fact, as Left Foot Forward showed last year and Channel 4 Fact Check reiterated last week, saving £400 million would require an even deeper cuts in the Child Tax Credit.'
:Tax havens cost the UK Â£18.5 billion a year
'Tomorrow night's Panorama is essential viewing for readers of this blog. Made by John Sweeney it looks at just what happens in tax havens.
During production of the programme I was asked by the BBC to estimate the tax lost to the UK as a result of tax haven activity. I did so. The paper I produced can be found here
The answer at £18.5 billion is, I suspect, an underestimate, but it's always worth being cautious when it comes to these matters. Even so the loss is staggering: that's £18.5 billion a year lost to the UK Exchequer as a result of the abuse of tax havens by corporations and individuals resident in the UK.
Part is avoidance. A significant amount is evasion.
And of course I'm not naive enough to think that this means all can be recovered. But I'm equally adamant that significant amounts could be.
Either unitary taxation, or perhaps even more directly, country by country reporting could deliver at least £3 billion of benefit to the UK Exchequer as a result of curtailing tax haven abuse.'
:Conservatives: Selling taxpayers short
'Auctioning off state-owned banks for less than they are worth is no way to restore the Treasury's books'
'Tony Blair was explicit in naming education as his top three priorities, but David Cameron's claim that "we can't go on like this" is barely less blunt in suggesting that curbing the deficit must be priorities one, two and three. But that message has now been compromised by George Osborne's proposal for flogging off the nationalised banks at a discount.'