Tax

Kate Allen

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).

Japan GDP Read more

Valentina Romei

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

Chris Cook

One curiosity which is often overlooked in social policy discussion is who actually pays which taxes. Today, the Chancellor said that his reforming Budget would create:

A tax system where millions of the lowest paid are lifted out of tax altogether

He is referring to the policy of raising the income tax threshold towards a target of £10,000. But it is a mistake to say people below that line will be “out of tax”. Here is a graph, based on table 14 of this ONS document, showing how the tax burden varies.

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