I have given much attention to the Mirrlees review by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in the past - just look here and take your pick.
Now they have published their final report.
I know the world bows down to the IFS - but I don't. And that's because the whole of this review is a coordinated attack on the ordinary people of the UK and as such is shameless promotion of the interests of the elite that neoliberal economics serves.
Take some examples:
- This morning's headline that 50p tax does not work, when there is no evidence to prove that case: this is just far right promotion of the Laffer curve by Mirrlees
- The promotion of much higher VAT
- The suggestion that corporation tax should be abolished to be replaced by yet mo0re VAT
- The suggestion that taxes on savings should be reduced
- The idea that NIC should be abolished shifting the burden from employer to employee
And on, and on.
This is the tax agenda of the Washington Consensus played out for adoption in the UK, with the inevitable, intended and elite driven intent of shifting tax from profit onto labour, increasing division in society, promoting tax haven activity and ensuring greater inequality.
Now it's not difficult to work out where this drive comes from. For all practical purposes on this issue the Institute for Fiscal Studies overlaps heavily with the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation.
That centre has close ties with the FTSE 100 group - who sponsored it.
Members of staff at that centre happily endorse tax haven activity whilst turning a blind eye to its consequences, the evidence of which they deny.
And they always take a profoundly neoliberal line believing on all occasions that the free market works (although there's little evidence in most cases that they've been willing to trust their fortunes to it - always a paradox at the core of the thinking of such places).
So of course they promote taxes that deliver exactly what neoliberal thinking wants - which is a shift of returns from labour to capital.
And they wrap it up as if it has 'objective' status. Don't be deceived: this is blatant politicking of the worst sort lacking all elements of objectivity and designed solely to serve the goal of increasing inequality in society.
At which point I guess I have to give credit where it is due: given that this is what they want to do their recommendations will certainly deliver what they want.