Recent Articles



The 50p tax will raise more than £6billion according to HMRC itself

by Richard Murphy     March 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I have written a new report for the TUC is entitled ‘Is 50/50 fair?’. It does, of course, discuss the 50p tax rate.

The key conclusions are easily stated though. The first is that using HM Revenue & Customs’ own data the 50p tax rate has potential to raise a sum well in excess of the £3 billion last officially forecast, and a figure at least as high as £6 billion could be generated.

That estimate, it is stressed is for 2011/12, not 2010/11, when HMRC clearly expected some transitional avoidance. But it’s hard to see how the tax could not raise such sums.
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A Mansion Tax? Let’s not pretend it has much merit

by Richard Murphy     March 7, 2012 at 10:36 am

The Lib Dems mansion tax is, let’s be honest, a Lib Dem bodge.

It’s a simple tack on to council tax. It’s crude.

The evidence base for valuation is going to be very marginal in many cases. And volatile. Perversely, many properties supposedly worth just over £2 million will rapidly fall in value by well over £100,000 the moment a tax was introduced.
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Why country-by-country reporting matters to our wellbeing

by Richard Murphy     February 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

I wrote yesterday about the arguments now going on in the EU about introducing country-by-country reporting for the extractive industries.

I have to say I am not objective on this issue since I created the concept of country-by-country reporting in 2003.

But I and many others maintain that country-by-country reporting (CbC) is important for the following reasons.
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The latest round of printing money – we don’t have a debt crisis

by Richard Murphy     February 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

As Larry Elliott noted yesterday morning in the Guardian another round of quantitative easing is now almost inevitable as money supply has fallen in the UK, again.

Expect £75 billion next week. That will be £350 billion in all of Quantitiative Easing.

The outcome is simple: another £75 billion of government debt will be purchased by the Bank of England. And as I explained last week, this debt will never be resold.
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UK debt hasn’t hit £1 trillion – mostly because of QE

by Richard Murphy     January 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Stories abound on the fact that the UK supposedly has state debt of £1 trillion for the first time. This however is not true.

Over the last few years the UK has issued debt as shown below totalling about £560 billion.

I have based all my data on the national accounts for the third quarter of 2011 unless otherwise noted. It’s the borrowing since 2008 that has supposedly given rise to the debt of £1 trillion.
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What did Ed Balls really mean on the deficit?

by Richard Murphy     January 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

I am disappointed as the next Keynesian if Ed Balls said yesterday morning that he supports the Tories’ cuts.

He hasn’t, at least as far as I can tell. He has said:

My starting point is, I am afraid, we are going to have keep all these cuts. There is a big squeeze happening on budgets across the piece. The squeeze on defence spending, for instance, is £15bn by 2015. We are going to have to start from that being the baseline. At this stage, we can make no commitments to reverse any of that, on spending or on tax. So I am being absolutely clear about that.

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2102 is going to worse than we think

by Richard Murphy     January 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The papers all seem to be reserving economic predictions for 2012 until today. Let me offer a few.

This will be the year the world faces the biggest economic crisis since 1945. Then we pulled together. This year countries will pull apart. Things are going to get worse, not better.

We will face social unrest as a result – right across the world impacted by recession.
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How the City of London is waging war on our economic welfare

by Richard Murphy     December 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

My friend Nick Mathiason works for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism where he has exposed a new type of tax avoidance activity centred on the City of London over the weekend.

He wrote this over the weekend in a story that also featured in the Observer:
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Stating the obvious on the economy

by Richard Murphy     December 1, 2011 at 8:01 am

The reality as as Robert Skidelsky said in the Guardian yesterday morning:

The intellectual debate between George Osborne and his critics hinges on this single point: what is it that makes a deficit-reduction programme “credible”?

Let’s start with the theory of the matter. “Look after unemployment,”JM Keynes said, “and the budget will look after itself.” This was a neat way of saying that a credible deficit reduction plan depends on growth.

There are four engines for growth, and no more.
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Three important reasons why tax evasion matters in the UK

by Richard Murphy     November 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

The research that Tax Justice Network published yesterday morning on tax evasion is, I think, shocking. The full report is here. I’ve posted a summary table of tax evasion for 145 countries too.

The real question is why does this matter? What’s the problem with the UK losing £69.9bn a year to tax evaders?

What’s the problem with Italy losing €183bn a year as a result of its 27% shadow economy – a shadow economy of the same size as that in Greece and more than twice the size of that in the UK?
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