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The Institute of Economic Affairs has asked four well-known economists for their verdict on Lord Forsyth’s Tax Reform Commission. The TRC was set up by George Osborne and it reported last October, but he hasn’t adopted its recommendations as party policy yet (unlike Gordon Brown!).

David Smith and Eugen Mihaita: "Nowadays it comes as a pleasant shock to read a serious, economically literate, analysis from a group associated with a British political party. Unfortunately, the semi-detached nature of the Conservatives’ Tax Reform Commission (TRC) means that it may have lost in political relevance what it has gained in objectivity and analytical quality."

Tim Congdon (UKIP supporter): "The Conservatives’ Tax Reform Commission was trapped in the assumptions of the late twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, Britain, like other European nations, will have to compete with nations – many of them in Asia – with much lower tax burdens. The Commission’s report was a missed opportunity. Mr Cameron’s rejection even of the modest £21 billion tax reduction it proposed reinforces the message that today’s Conservatives have lost the intellectual momentum given them by Lady Thatcher in the 1980s."

Patrick Minford: "In rebranding the Conservative Party, David Cameron has emphasised his commitments to public spending and a desire for tax cuts to pay for themselves in direct revenue cost terms. This is, of course, an absurd  position since, as the Commission points out, there will be substantial dynamic benefits from tax cuts: rising revenues as a result of higher growth, increased labour supply, reduced emigration and less tax evasion. Thus the Commission found the ground cut from under its feet before it could get its views out."

The above quotes are their concluding views of the TRC overall, click here to read in full what they thought about some of the specific recommendations.

Deputy Editor

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