Why Estonian?

When I say I’m learning Estonian, people (even Estonians) often ask why. I have a number of answers at the ready, depending on who’s asking and whether I think they really want to know. My shortest response is: why not? If they are looking at me as though I’m mad, I might add that I’ve … More Why Estonian?

Delving into Graves’

Last night I discovered what happens when you combine Graves’ disease with hay fever. The results weren’t pretty, and I rather wished I hadn’t looked in the mirror at around 10pm. The offending eye is now back where it belongs, leaving me with something akin to a hangover. But the experience was a reminder of … More Delving into Graves’

Keep calm – play Brahms: a talk for International Women’s Day

Looking through some old computer files the other day, I came across a talk I gave at work three years ago, on International Women’s Day 2015. It’s odd to re-read it – especially the end, as I didn’t expect I’d have “retired” (if indeed that’s what I’ve done) a year later. But I think the … More Keep calm – play Brahms: a talk for International Women’s Day

Tax and ethics

Last night I spoke at an event hosted by Promoting Economic Pluralism and The Mint magazine, alongside Richard Murphy. Richard has already published several blogs about the evening, including his speaking notes, and I’ve put my own contribution into blog form below. While we didn’t exactly reach a consensus, there were many points on which … More Tax and ethics

Making tax policy post-Brexit: an international perspective

I returned to my old Westminster haunts this week to take part in a seminar run by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax. This was the group’s second session on tax and Brexit, with the theme “Making tax policy post-Brexit”. Dame Margaret Hodge, who chairs the APPG, led the proceedings and fellow-panellists were Nicky … More Making tax policy post-Brexit: an international perspective

A predictable Budget for business taxes

When a Chancellor’s room for manoeuvre in the Budget is highly constrained, what emerges tends towards the predictable. Wednesday’s Autumn 2017 Budget is a case in point. Economic outlook The downgrade to economic growth forecasts by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) was severe, and could have profound long-term consequences. But it was hardly surprising … More A predictable Budget for business taxes