IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

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Taxpayers Alliance against union subsidies

Jacob Arfwedson,

Taxpayers Alliance against union subsidies Our colleagues at the TPA have campaigned successfully against union subsidies. This means that the number of civil servants working for the unions at the taxpayers’ expense will now be reduced sharply. Currently, 0.26 per cent of the payroll in the Civil Service is spent on union (...)


Taxes are the largest expense for Swedes

Jacob Arfwedson,

Taxes are the largest expense for Swedes


The German taxpayers’ association demands a rebate

Jacob Arfwedson,

The German taxpayers' association demands a rebate As tax revenues are flooding into the Treasury, the German taxpayers’ association (BdSt) has asked the federal government to axe the "stealth" tax increases and to cut spending further. Current estimates show that tax revenues will be substantially higher than previously thought: a record 600 (...)


French budget 2013: IREF moves to appeal to the Constitutional Council

Jacob Arfwedson,

French budget 2013: IREF moves to appeal to the Constitutional Council IREF has examined the provisions of the French government’s 2013 budget proposal, and concludes that these are confiscatory and arbitrary. Henceforth taxpayers will be subject to taxation on revenues of which they do not dispose, and forced to pay taxes that are above the corresponding incomes. (...)


The greatest achievement of French statism: high unemployment

Jacob Arfwedson,

The greatest achievement of French statism: high unemployment By Nicolas Lecaussin
Can you imagine that unemployment has been “priority number one” for French politicians over the past 35 years! Left, right and center have all claimed that their first objective was to reduce unemployment, in particular among young people. Yet they have failed every time. (...)


The French 2013 budget: fiscal iniquity and inefficiency

Jacob Arfwedson,

The French 2013 budget: fiscal iniquity and inefficiency Jean-Philippe Delsol
Tax lawyer, deputy director of IREF
The government’s goal of reducing the budgetary deficit to 3 per cent of GDP is commendable, even though such a deficit will inevitably increase the French public debt as growth will be low or even close to zero. However, the tools (...)


The same euro mistake under a different name

Jacob Arfwedson,

The same euro mistake under a different name


Sweden to slash corporate income tax

Jacob Arfwedson,

Sweden to slash corporate income tax An old American joke has it that hell is where the Swedes are in charge of entertainment. But the last laugh in fiscal policy matters in Europe will probably go to Swedish legislators as they vote for implementing a reduction of corporate income taxes (...)


Warning: Last Exit to Belgium

Jacob Arfwedson,

Warning: Last Exit to Belgium


The Single Income Tax

Jacob Arfwedson,

The Single Income Tax The Taxpayers’ Alliance has published a summary of its final report, proposing a Single Income Tax to tax streams of income once. As stated by Allister Heath, Chairman of the TPA Tax Commission, "the old order is broken and needs radical reform. But we are also realists: our proposals, while (...)


A Plan for Sound Money

Jacob Arfwedson,

A Plan for Sound Money


Yearbook 2012

Yearbook 2012


Italy in the tax turmoil


Ireland on the way to recovery

Ireland on the way to recovery


Sweet Drop on Gauche Caviar: Chronology of the Portugese workers day saga

Sweet Drop on Gauche Caviar: Chronology of the Portugese workers day saga


French 2011 fiscal reforms in retrospect

French 2011 fiscal reforms in retrospect This paper is excerpted from the forthcoming "IREF’s Yearbook on Taxation" 2012
In view of the great fragility of French public finances, all the candidates to the April 2012 Presidential elections have felt the necessity to explain their strategy to put the country back on track, if elected. (...)


Lessons from Lithuanian austerity

Lessons from Lithuanian austerity


The Spanish Corporate Income Tax Hike Will Hurt Economic Recovery


The Euro: A Community of Shared Destiny?

The Euro: A Community of Shared Destiny?


Urgent Tax Measures Needed by the Spanish Economy

Urgent Tax Measures Needed by the Spanish Economy


A few recommendations to Spain’s new leader

A few recommendations to Spain's new leader


Individual Rights and the Fight Against “Tax Evasion”

Individual Rights and the Fight Against “Tax Evasion”


French unions live the good life. For how long?

French unions live the good life. For how long? France is famous for its wine, cheese and…unions. It is well established now that any reform considered by any government, left or right, has to be approved by unions (or, at least, not strongly opposed) in order to have a chance to be passed. Strange situation in a country where less than 8% of (...)


Bank regulation: Troubleshooter or Troublemaker?


Taxing the Rich: a Promising Tool According to Many European Member States

Taxing the Rich: a Promising Tool According to Many European Member States The sovereign debt crisis forces our governments to stretch their imagination in order to find additional budget revenues. In Europe, as well as in the US, many voices call for additional contributions from the rich (not such a big stretch of imagination, in fact, if it was for the already high (...)


French austerity measures – more taxes and unconvincing plans to balance the budget

French austerity measures – more taxes and unconvincing plans to balance the budget


In next year’s presidential elections, voters will choose between statism of the left and statism of the right.

In next year's presidential elections, voters will choose between statism of the left and statism of the right.


Bank stress tests or how governments are trying to fool the market

Bank stress tests or how governments are trying to fool the market European governments are under pressure to shore up the banking sector in the face of growing worries about the industry’s capital levels, access to funding and earning power in the context of global crisis. Indeed, weakened by their bad sovereign debt holdings, several banks are scrutinized by (...)


Why do the rich want tax increases?

Why do the rich want tax increases?


G7 – in search of equilibrium

G7 – in search of equilibrium


What’s the Matter With the French Banks?

What's the Matter With the French Banks?


France - bad measures crowding out good ideas

France - bad measures crowding out good ideas


The French social model challenged by the debt crisis

The French social model challenged by the debt crisis


Market Crises Versus Sovereign Crises

Market Crises Versus Sovereign Crises


A new world

A new world


Who should pay for Greek’s mess?

Who should pay for Greek's mess? After a huge transfer-loan of €110 billion last year, Greece is once again pending on EU-IMF charity in order to avoid default, or at least, to benefit from a smooth default (assuming such a thing exists). Meanwhile, the Greek economy is paralyzed and tensions grow inside Greece as well as in (...)


Portugal turns the page

Portugal turns the page


Taxation on savings in Switzerland approved by most of EU member states

Taxation on savings in Switzerland approved by most of EU member states After being seriously blamed by Italian Minister of finances Giulio Tremont last month, Switzerland finally finds itself largely approved on its private savings policy in the recently revealed by the EU Commission report on enforcement of taxation on savings regulation. As a matter of fact, (...)


What is going on with Italy’s public finances?

What is going on with Italy's public finances? Moody’s rating agency warned on Friday on Italy’s public debt and mentioned the reviewing of Italy’s credit rating for a possible downgrade. This change, if it happens, would increase the government’s borrowing costs and have a very negative impact on public (...)


Portugal -the State grows, the economy languishes

Portugal -the State grows, the economy languishes


Denmark is reforming tax policy

Denmark is reforming tax policy


France will soon change (again) its fiscal law, but not its fiscal policy

France will soon change (again) its fiscal law, but not its fiscal policy


In Praise of Fiscal Divergence

In Praise of Fiscal Divergence


The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base - An instance of the EU’s Icarus Complex ?

The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base - An instance of the EU's Icarus Complex ?


Harmonization of the European corporate tax base – not such a great idea


Simpler and Clearer Fiscal Rules

Simpler and Clearer Fiscal Rules


Why the Portuguese government fell?

Why the Portuguese government fell?


Free market is not to be blamed for the private debt bubble: the case of Spain

Free market is not to be blamed for the private debt bubble: the case of Spain When reflecting on the causes of the current economic and financial crisis, the huge upsurge in private debt is one of the most cited reasons. Some people insist on blaming the private sector for this. According to them, the sustainability of its behavior has been clearly put into question by (...)


Fiscal news from Germany

Fiscal news from Germany


Poland: Unjustified political opportunism

Poland: Unjustified political opportunism In 2010 the public deficit in Poland reached at least 7.9% of GDP. The public debt, in turn, balanced around 55% of GDP. In order to rescue public finance, the Polish government announced end of 2010 the dismantling of the reform of pension system. In the opinion of Polish authorities, this (...)


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