MAGGIE PAGANO: It’s time to change tack on tax

Friends, it’s time to take off our flats and dig up the heels that are hidden behind cabinets in the age of Covid as we vow never to wear them again.

Like it or not, heels are back in fashion – that is, if your feet can cope.

According to Primark, the company had three months of bountiful sales before Christmas, and during the festive period, younger shoppers started buying heels and re-clothing.

Tax trap: Even the fools labeled by Rishi Sunak for calling for tax breaks can see that there is a way Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt has more room to maneuver to make life easier for businesses

We also come back to the pint Friday night after work. City Pub Group reports that even those who still work from home return to the capital to meet friends for drinks.

That’s good news. Now for more bleak. The latest S&P global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 47.8 this month from 49.0 in December, its lowest level since January two years ago.

It is too early to say whether weaker-than-expected PMI numbers will ease fears that the UK is slipping into a recession.

January is usually the bleakest month, and given the combination of industrial disputes, staff shortages, higher prices and higher interest rates, it’s not surprising that business activity has slowed.

However, the latest figures should make it easier for the Bank of England to avoid raising interest rates when the MPC meets next week. More worrying is that government borrowing hit a high of £27.4 billion in December.

This is the largest December number since filings began in 1993, pushed up by the cost of supporting household energy bills and higher interest rates.

Around £7 billion was due to the energy package, while interest on government debt more than doubled to £17.3 billion for the year.

Interest rates rise because higher interest rates on gilts in the UK mean the Government will have to pay more for inflation-aligned index-linked bonds.

Around £14bn is due to indexed debt – money that doesn’t need to be paid off now but increases the number of loans.

Economist Doug McWilliams of the Center for Economic and Business Research thinks the numbers aren’t as dire as they seem.

This is because a large part of the extra loan – £8.6bn – is due to different assumptions made about the value of student loans in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics has yet to decide to reassess outstanding student loans, thus leaving an £8.6 billion difference between their own calculations and those of the Office of Accountability. Budget.

Over the next few months, McWilliams predicts the loan will be much lower than planned.

What the higher-than-expected debt numbers did was give Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt more cover to keep tight control on public spending and not be lenient with tax cuts when he announced the Budget on 15th. March. This is wrong.

Even the idiots who are branded by Rishi Sunak for calling for tax breaks can see that there is a way for Hunt to have more room to maneuver to make life easier for businesses. He doesn’t even need to say these measures are tax cuts, merely a twist when reality changes.

For starters, a surprise tax on oil and gas companies doesn’t work. The tax will cost more than the increase as the oil giants pull out of new investment.

He could also say that business is so fragile that it is no longer appropriate to raise the corporate tax rate to 25% in April.

It’s not a tax cut, it’s merely keeping things the way they are. No one could say he was an idiot for changing his mind.

Rotate my arm

Rishi Sunak has been in the spotlight in her lobbying to get Arm, the Cambridge-based chip giant, listed in London as well as in the United States.

It is not known whether SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son will double-list because the prospectus paperwork is extremely complicated – too much for global capital markets. If Son chooses the US, there is another way for Brits to buy shares in the IPO.

Tech platform PrimaryBid has told ministers it can set up a retail offer, as it did for listing Soho House, the luxury US membership club.

It is estimated that there could be around £3 billion in retail demand, Arm always has a large following of small UK investors. This is a great idea.

Hopefully that won’t stop Sunak from twisting Son’s arm to go ahead with the dual listing and make some reforms if necessary.

Having a nearly £50 billion Arm float in London would be a veritable coup and say more about the liquidity of the UK’s capital markets than any rhetoric.

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