Media and politics

The Institute for Fiscal Studies held a series of presentations to analyse the Conservative and Labour Party manifestos today, with reference to the Lib Dems' offering.

UKIP launched its manifesto ‘Britain Together’ this week, with its leader Paul Nuttall calling the party ‘the guard dogs of Brexit’. 

The ‘gig economy’ is much in the news at the moment – and all the political parties seem to have plans for it in their manifestos. But what is it, what are the rights and responsibilities of those who work in it, and what kind of changes might we see?


In our response to the Government’s Fixing our broken housing market consultation, we compared the UK tax consequences of the traditional model for the sale of land for residential development in the UK with various routes to land pooling. Our conclusion is that there needs to be a level playing field in tax terms.

The Green party is the latest political party to launch a manifesto ahead of the General Election. Its plans suggest that the wealthiest and high earners will pay significantly more tax if the party gets hold of power.

Richard Wild, head of tax technical team at The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), talks about the digitalisation of the UK tax system.

There were few surprises on the tax front in the Conservative manifesto published today. Existing fiscal rules were restated, existing plans for income tax and corporation tax cuts were confirmed and  two thirds of the 2015 ‘tax triple lock’ was dropped (the VAT element stays), giving a future Conservative government more flexibility to adjust taxes if circumstances require.


A Liberal Democrat government would raise an extra £15 billion a year in taxes, over and above Conservative plans. This would include an increase of one per cent in all income tax rates, raising corporation tax to 20 per cent and reversing a number of cuts made by the Conservatives since 2015. The party also proposes a far-reaching review of corporation tax.

A near full auditorium was treated to an unusual CTA address. The calling of a snap general election meant that ‘purdah’ rules prevented former Tax Director of OTS John Whiting CBE – who remains a non-exec director of HMRC - from giving his planned speech on tax simplification. Instead, this year’s event was a panel discussion on topical tax matters. The panel was made up of Stella Amiss, of PWC, Paul Aplin, of ICAEW, Vanessa Houlder, of the Financial Times, Jill Rutter, Institute of Government and the CIOT’s Tax Policy Director John Cullinane. An audio of the event is below,

A corporation tax rate of 26 per cent (21 per cent for small profits) and higher rates of income tax for those earning more than £80,000 a year are the most eye-catching tax proposals in Labour’s election manifesto, published on Tuesday. High earners will also be targeted with an extra levy on ‘excessive pay’ and a proposal to publish the returns of those earning more than £1 million a year. Businesses below the VAT threshold would be given a permanent exemption from quarterly reporting. Overall, Labour estimate their proposals would increase the tax take by just under £49 billion a year by 2021.