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IFS examines Chancellor’s fiscal rules and tax plans

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The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has published its customary ‘Green Budget’ commentary, in advance of the government’s 2016 Budget.

With tax revenues remaining volatile, the report notes that the chancellor’s strict fiscal mandate requiring a balanced budget and surplus from 2019/20 could force him into further tax increases or spending cuts at short notice, if official forecasts change.

His current tax plans depend on factors including:

·       promised income tax cuts of £8bn per year through threshold adjustments, although it is not clear how these will be funded;

·       freezing the £150,000 threshold for the 45% income tax rate;

·       raising fuel duties in line with the RPI; and

·       a steady increase in the number of taxpayers losing child benefit as earnings rise.

The ICAEW, as co-author of the report, thinks it is time to look at restructuring excise duties, in view of the fall in revenues from these duties since the 1970s and the need to keep them targeted at the social harms connected with certain types of consumption.

The Green Budget report also covers corporate tax avoidance, arguing that the fair taxation of multinational companies has as much to do with the need to improve, or radically rewrite, the current tax rules, as it does with changing the behaviour of these companies.

The IFS Green Budget is available at

Issue: 1296
Categories: News