I spent Easter in Bremen, a stately Hanseatic city on the River Weser. It is stately in another sense too: it is also the smallest of Germany’s 16 federal states/Länder, and one of only three city-states, along with Hamburg and Berlin. Brahms The idea of the trip occurred to me in November, as I was performing Brahms’ … More Bremen, Brahms, and the art of bricks
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
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
This is a bit of a meta-post, but here goes … In recent months I’ve had a number of blog posts and articles published on other sites. Some of these have been reproduced here, but that’s not always possible or easy to do. So this post (which I will update as necessary) brings them together, … More Spreading my wings … some recent tax articles
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
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
As Philip Hammond prepares for his Budget on Wednesday, he faces a daunting set of constraints, both economic and political. The economic side On the economic side, the news since the March Budget has not been universally bad. Tax receipts are higher than forecast, while spending is lower, leading to a reduction in debt. However, it is … More What might we expect for business taxes in the Autumn Budget?
Three stories on tax and multinationals hit the press last week. They attracted varying levels of attention – from BBC news headlines to erudite debates on the tax Twittersphere – and were of varying degrees of importance. As usual there was, if anything, an inverse correlation between their importance and the noise they generated. But … More Three stories on tax and multinationals: are we losing our collective memory?
6 years ago, in October 2011, Ellie Knott took me to Transylvania. We had been travelling to Europe together for years: from Disneyland Paris, through the red-light districts of Lyons, Cologne and Berlin (“mother, don’t stand on the street corner”), to cocktail bars in Madrid, Krakow and Aix (where “Madame et Mademoiselle” became “Mesdames” around … More Where the rooves have eyes: 2 days in Sibiu
My interest in continued fractions was sparked by working out how to knit the stars in the EU flag earlier this year. It turned out that 13/15 was a remarkably good approximation for √3/2, which was crucial for placing the stars. While exploring the world of continued fractions, I came across a reference to a … More Powers of the golden ratio