Letters to the editor - 20/09 - Clegg's tax coup, China's promise, Best of Twitter

Clegg’s tax coup

[Re: Tories can match Clegg’s income tax coup without punishing middle classess, Wednesday]

Dominic Raab makes sense as always, but he’s not in government and his party is still unlikely to win the next election. While it may be cheering to imagine the Conservatives can win the vote on the back of tax cuts for the poor and opposition to middle class tax grabs, a mansion tax is unfortunately popular. A poll by YouGov in July found that two thirds of the public support an annual tax of 1 per cent on homes worth over £2m. The old Tory slogans aren’t working. On some critical issues, the public has moved Left.

Malcolm Brice


China’s promise

[Re: Why cutting-edge China could leapfrog the West in the service economy, yesterday]

While China’s rise is obvious, cutting-edge companies like Alibaba face huge institutional hurdles to compete with the likes of Google. First, corruption is endemic in China. Its state-owned banks and firms don’t make decisions solely on a commercial basis, and unproductive lending is mammoth. This inhibits growth. Second, Chinese institutions do not work in support of free enterprise. Recent showtrials are testament to the weakness of the rule of law. Alibaba may be strong now. But the Chinese state is capricious.

Name withheld


Positive news from CBI Industrial Trends Survey: output expectations strongest since 1995.

Jump in CBI export balance may not survive Mark Carney’s appreciation of the pound.

Unsustainable family debt is a much larger social problem than some people having a spare bedroom.

Forget good US data, Fed won’t withdraw a cent from QE as long as the government could get shut down.