• ‘798 years on hold’: navigating HMRC’s customer service issues

    The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on HMRC customer service which isn’t a happy story. Source: HMRC historic data, Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates A common tactic for grabbing a headline, be it a politician or organisation, is to take a relatively modest number and then multiply it by the large

  • How to raise tax revenue without raising tax rates

    As we count down to the general election in July, be wary of those manifesto promises not to raise tax rates. The Conservatives and the Labour party are going into the next election with the same key fiscal rule. This states that in five years’ time, total government debt (currently about £2,700 billion) should be

  • Inflation’s stubborn cumulative effect

    April’s yearly inflation figure fell from 0.9% to 2.3%, so why does inflation still feel high?   Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) April’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed annual inflation had fallen to 2.3%, its lowest level since July 2021 and significantly below the October 2022 peak of 11.1%. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak,

  • Not in the NIC of time

    A useful new web tool has emerged, a little late in the game, in a joint effort from two government departments.   In early 2023, HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found they were unable to cope with the volume generated by a 5 April cut-off date that had been set a

  • Dow Jones breaks through 40,000

    In mid-May 2024, the Dow Jones Index crossed the 40,000 threshold for the first time.   Source: Investing.com You might have noted headlines in May that the Dow Jones Index of US shares had broken through the 40,000 mark for the first time. It may have sounded like a significant landmark, but for professional investors,