Daily Archives: December 11, 2008


Are the Treasury showing a fondness for back of the envelope calculations? While the Tories are wild about tax cuts that pay for themselves, Alistair Darling seems to prefer tax cuts that are cheaper than forecast.

Remember the great fuss over the stamp duty holiday? When Darling unveiled the tax cut in September he said “it would cost a total of £615m”. But take a look at the fine print of the pre-Budget report: the estimate is now down to £280m. Read more

The UK was supposed to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. That was the received wisdom. The prime minister himself has referred to it on several occasions*.

In fact British officials in Brussels have negotiated a slightly lower figure which equates to about 14.5 per cent. Read more

I wrote here a few days ago about Mapeley’s falling share price. The company came to public attention several years ago when it bought hundreds of HMRC buildings in a deal which was controversial because the group was based offshore.

This month the government announced it would close more than 90 tax offices.  Read more

I was surprised to see the GMB union describing as “total bollocks” my scoop this morning.

The story revealed talks between Corus and union officials over a possible 10 per cent pay cut for the steel group’s 25,000 workers. It’s interesting because this is the kind of idea which could be followed elsewhere (FT journalists have already been handed a pay freeze for 2009). Read more