The Great Debate UK

George Osborne and the band-aid effect

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BRITAIN-BUDGET/The second budget presented to Parliament by Chancellor George Osborne is likely to be less talking and more doing when it comes to bringing the UK’s public finances under control.

This won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Some argue that the UK is in less financial danger than Europe’s financially troubled states, yet Osborne is embracing deficit reduction plans with as much gusto as Ireland or Greece.

Osborne has indeed been faithful to the ‘band-aid effect’ when it comes to remedying the UK’s bloated balance sheet. There is to be no picking at the corners for him, he is getting ready to rip that plaster off with all of the short-term excruciating pain that goes with it.

The Chancellor’s fiscal targets are ambitious. He wants to virtually eliminate the budget deficit by 2014-2015 and to halve government borrowing over the same time period. Seventy-seven percent of this will be achieved through public spending cuts, with the rest of the 23 percent coming from tax increases.

A budget for Growth?

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Thomas Story_NSP8121By Thomas Story, Tax Director, BDO LLP. The opinions expressed are his own.

George Osborne has promised that measures to boost sustainable growth will be central to this week’s Budget. To meet this objective, the Chancellor faces the challenge of accelerating the reform of business taxation within the severe constraints imposed by the overall fiscal position and the political imperatives of the coalition government.

Many previous reforming Chancellors have benefited from a more benign fiscal outlook to facilitate fundamental fiscal reform (Nigel Lawson and Gordon Brown spring to mind). The daunting fiscal deficit means that any tax reforms must be achieved within a tax neutral framework; Geoffrey Howe’s Budgets in the early 1980s are a closer precedent but the need to accommodate both parties to the coalition agreement provides additional dilemmas in 2011.

Regulatory gaps let banks off the bonus hook

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– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By Peter Thal Larsen

Investment banks have reined in their worst pay excesses. But inconsistent enforcement of bonus rules in the United States and Europe means some are still getting away with bad behaviour. If banks and regulators can’t agree common standards, they risk another political backlash.

Osborne’s budget alleviates worries over pensions tax relief

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-Joanne Segars is chief executive at the National Association of Pension Funds. The opinions expressed are her own.-

Osborne delivered a tough and important budget, but one issue he didn’t really square up to was the UK’s woeful record on saving for retirement.

UK economy’s make-or-break budget

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- Mark Bolsom is the Head of the UK Trading desk at Travelex Global Business Payments. The opinions expressed are his own-

Later today, Chancellor George Osborne will unveil his first budget, where he is widely expected to take a tough stance. To the financial markets, this emergency budget is the agenda-setting piece of this parliament. Markets, media, consumers and businesses alike have all braced themselves for what has been billed as the sharpest fiscal tightening since the end of the Second World War.

Taxes and the emergency budget

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-Julia Whittle is head of International at Punter Southall Financial Management. The opinions expressed are her own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as UK Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

It is highly unlikely previous Capital Gains Tax proposals will be reversed in Chancellor George Osborne’s first budget.

Osborne to show no sympathy for middle or high earners

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-Nick Earl is partner at chartered financial planners Wardour Partners LLP. The opinions expressed are his own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as UK Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

On Tuesday we will hear the first budget from new Chancellor George Osborne.

From the snippets of information we have heard from the Lib-Con coalition camp, I do not anticipate this budget will show much sympathy for middle or high earners.

Key tests for the emergency budget

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-Thomas Story is tax director at BDO LLP. The opinions expressed are his own.  Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as UK Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

Ten key tests by which Chancellor George Osborne will be judged when he delivers the emergency budget on Tuesday:

A budget of woes? Where has our imagination gone?

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-Ruth Porter is communications manager at the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are her own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

George Osborne has the chance to do something really radical on Tuesday in his budget statement.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes

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-Rachel Mason is public relations manager at Fair Investment Company. The opinions expressed are her own.-

If there is one thing in this life you can be sure about it is that you are going to be taxed a lot. You can’t escape it.
You are taxed on your income, then you are taxed on the money from your income that you have already been taxed on when it becomes savings, then you are taxed on your pension, which is made up of cash that you have already been taxed on, and then there’s road tax, car tax, council tax, VAT, stamp duty….the list goes on.

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