Source: 恒星英语学习网    2011-06-17  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Taxing the flush to help out the hard-pressed was a theme. The ??1 billion or so that will be raised by stopping businesses paying high earners in ways that sidestep income tax will be used to increase the personal tax-free allowance next year by a further ??630, to ??8,105, shielding more low-paid workers from tax. The revenue raised from an increase in the levy on bank assets will be used to fund a ??250m scheme in which the government will take an equity stake alongside house builders in newly built homes. The aim of the scheme is to bridge the gap between what homebuyers can offer as a deposit and what mortgage-lenders demand. Billed as support for first-time buyers, it is likely to help the depressed construction industry more.


This sort of mild populism is mostly harmless—and understandable given the scale of the pre-announced spending cuts and tax increases that begin next month. But Mr Osborne had bigger ambitions for his package of measures. “Today’s budget is about reforming the nation’s economy,” he declared. “Britain has lost ground in the world economy and needs to catch up.”

这种温和的政策大部分是无害,会前宣布的削减开支规模以及宣布下月实施的增加税收方案亦是被公众所接受的。但奥斯本先生对整套措施信誓旦旦 “今天的预算案是为了改革国家的经济体制。”他宣称 “英国已经失去了在世界经济中的应有地位,我们必须要迎头赶上。”

The chancellor’s biggest anxiety is that Britain is no longer seen as a first choice for international businesses looking for a European base. To address this, he used what little money he could find to accelerate the cuts in business taxes announced in his first budget. The main corporate-tax rate will be cut by an extra percentage point in 2011-12 (from 28% to 26%), with further reductions bringing it to 23% by 2014-15. There will be more favourable tax treatment of the foreign earnings of British-based businesses, to help persuade footloose firms to stay.


It seems to be working: WPP, an advertising firm that moved to Dublin in 2008, has indicated it will return. On personal tax, Mr Osborne said that the 50% tax rate on incomes above ??150,000 a year “would do lasting damage” to the economy if it became permanent. He gave no timetable for its abolition but said he would ask Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to assess how much money it actually raises.


The budget’s pro-enterprise message was strengthened by the extension of (fairly inexpensive) tax breaks for capital directed at new businesses. A three-year moratorium on new business regulations is promised for start-ups and firms with fewer than ten workers. Britain’s strict rules on development of new buildings will be relaxed; there will be extra perks in 21 new designated enterprise zones (see article). The chancellor also set aside ??275m to help improve the skills of young workers, by funding 80,000 work-experience placements, 50,000 new apprenticeships and extra investment in technical colleges.


These initiatives are unlikely to transform the economy. But their thrust is laudable. The cuts to corporate taxes sent the right signals, as did Mr Osborne’s invocation of Nigel Lawson, a tax-reforming chancellor of the 1980s.



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