Small and midsized UK businesses remain concerned about the economy, according to the Future of Business Survey, a new measure of business sentiment from Facebook, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The trio surveyed 90,000 small and medium-sized companies across 22 countries using the world’s largest social network. Read more
Japan is set to raise its consumption (sales) tax for the first time since 1997.
The last time the sales tax rate was raised, the hike was blamed by some economists for the country’s subsequent slump into recession (though the Asian financial crisis was perhaps a bigger contributor).
Berlusconi, the billionaire former Italian prime minister pledged to reimburse Italians €4bn for an unpopular property tax. This is probably the first time he has promised to give money back, but it is definitely not the first time he has pledged to cut taxes.
Berlusconi lavished promises of tax cuts periodically throughout the past decade, but he failed to translate them into reality, even when he was in power from 2001 to 2006 and again from 2008 to the end of 2011.
In fact, according to the OECD the average income tax rate increased in Italy across all types of households, whereas it was reduced in most other OECD countries. Read more