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from The Great Debate UK:

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:

1. Do the tax measures make a significant contribution to reducing the fiscal deficit?

The Chancellor is caught on the horns of a dilemma with the promise of various tax cuts contained in the coalition agreement needing to be offset by larger tax rises in the emergency budget to help plug the gap in the government’s finances.  However, this may allow some targeted tax cuts to be introduced from 2011 but only in small steps as the economy improves.

from The Great Debate UK:

Banks, borrowing, bonds and Britain’s budget

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-Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. 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.-

George Osborne must be thankful to Don Fabio and his boys for ensuring that Wednesday’s tabloids will have other things to think about than the Budget, because it is going to be one of the toughest ever.

This may hurt a little

Britons are being prepared for the hardest of hard times. Prime Minister David Cameron has warned the public that they will feel the impact of deficit-cutting decisions for years and maybe even decades. Cameron justifies the pain by saying that doing nothing about debt would be disastrous and that Britain will come out of the other side as a stronger country.

His finance minister George Osborne and LibDem sidekick Danny Alexander were setting out plans on Tuesday for how to conduct this year’s spending review, with  unions, the public and the private sector asked to contribute ideas.

Budget for votes riskily delays UK debt pain

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BRITAIN-BUDGET/– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Alistair Darling promised no election “giveaways” and in one sense he delivered. The UK finance minister’s budget is about not giving away the election. It might have been worse — if Darling had acceded to his boss Gordon Brown’s even more populist instincts. But there are vote-seeking swipes at high earners and banks, as well as a crowd-pleasing but misguided tax cut to first-time house-buyers. The UK’s budget-balancing pain is being postponed and concealed. And that’s risky.

Defence industry needs PR rethink

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defenceBritain’s defence industry held its annual public relations exercise on Tuesday at London’s swanky Atrium Restaurant in Westminster.

The “charm” offensive –- held under the auspices of trade body the Defence Industries Council (DIC) –- began with executives from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and QinetiQ, among others, telling assorted media that the defence industry needs more investment (not less) even during a recession.

from The Great Debate UK:

Government must deliver on Olympic legacy promise

robertson1- Hugh Robertson is the opposition Conservatives' Olympics spokesman. The views expressed are his own. -

With three years to go, it is remarkable that London 2012 is going so well.

London’s Olympics were launched with a massive government miscalculation that resulted in the budget having to be increased threefold, were based on a plan that required us to build two Terminal 5s in half the time and have had to contend with the worst economic recession in living memory.

from The Great Debate UK:

Budget boost for savers

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--Fay Goddard is chief executive of the Personal Finance Society. The opinions expressed are her own.--

As predicted, Budget 2009 was heavy on figures and forecasts and hard on the highest earners. Unsurprisingly it is the latter that the press has picked up on. We all knew that there would be a new top rate of income tax – though some were taken by surprise at the rate of 50 percent and the speed at which it will be introduced.

Punters cash in on Darling’s budget tie choice

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Smokers and top earners were clear losers in Britain’s budget this year, as the government hiked taxes on cigarettes and the highest incomes.

 

But a lucky few must have been cheering in front of their televisions during the 51-minute speech.

What did you think of the Budget?

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Chancellor Alistair Darling has made his second annual Budget speech to parliament. Among the measures announced to the House were an increase in petrol duty of 2p per litre in September and a 2 percent increase in alcohol and tobacco duties from tonight.

Darling also announced a scrappage scheme offering £2,000 to people trading in cars older than 10 years for a newer vehicle. From next April there will be a new top tax rate of 50 percent for those earning more than 150,000 pounds a year.

from The Great Debate UK:

Apocalypse Now: A return to high borrowing, high taxes and weak growth

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--Gerard Lyons is chief economist at Standard Chartered. Any opinions expressed are his own. --

Britain is clearly a Jekyll and Hyde economy. Or that at least is what the Chancellor would like us to believe. The bad news we are now seeing in the economy, public finances and across parts of the financial sector will not last. We are in the Mr Hyde phase. But, don't worry, we will soon be back to the normal Dr Jekyll soon.

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