Is there enough fuel in the fiscal tank for another duty freeze?

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Public Finances and the Economy

After eight years of freezes, it had started to look like successive governments’ cancellation of the annual RPI-linked uprating of fuel duty had run out of road. After all, it’s already costing the government around £9 billion a year, and that cost will grow with each passing year. But we now know that the Chancellor … Continued

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Five charts to chill the Chancellor’s blood ahead of the Budget

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Public Finances and the Economy

We now know that this year’s Budget will be delivered on 29 October, making it the first Monday Budget since 1962. The traditional Wednesday has been avoided, we’re told, to side-step negative Halloween-based headlines. Yet there’s still plenty of scary stuff for the Chancellor to deal with – from finding the £20 billion needed to … Continued

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There’s something off-key about our approach to inheritance tax

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Intergenerational Commission, Tax and Welfare

It takes something to be crowned Britain’s most hated tax – a bit like being the UK’s worst ever Eurovision entry – but that is the unwanted title held by inheritance tax. It doesn’t help that it’s a tax that’s unavoidably associated with the death of loved ones. And complexity is undoubtedly a problem too. … Continued

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Now’s not the time for auto-pilot

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Intergenerational Commission, Tax and Welfare

Straightforward policy successes are a rare achievement in government and need celebrating when they arrive, lest we forget that policy matters. The recent sizeable gains the UK has made on private pension saving as a result of the introduction of auto-enrolment are therefore a clear cause for cheer. But challenges remain, starting with the increase … Continued

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Time for some housing honesty

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

The return to work after Christmas is never easy. Unless you’re an estate agent: they love January. Following the pre-Christmas lull, families rush back into wanting to buy and sell their houses (helped in part by the traditional post-festivity spike in family breakdown). But for an increasing number of us, house hunting is becoming little … Continued

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