Rapid responses

Tax nightmare

[Re: How income tax has become such a nightmare for so many, yesterday]
The main problem with Britain’s income tax system is that government gets larger with every tax rise. It’s about time we tried doing things the other way round.

Jeremy Poynton

Whatever problems our tax system causes, Labour would do nothing about it. Its populist posturing over the 50 per cent income tax rate, and its strange intellectual belief that people don’t create wealth without the explicit assistance of the government, mean that it is certainly not the party to do anything about this mess.

Tommy Hill


Lending to SMEs

[Re: Item says Cable’s business bank will crowd out private lending, yesterday]

High street banks argue that demand from small to medium-sized enterprises for borrowing is low, but this isn’t supported by our research. Our lending levels have increased by 16.5 per cent since this time last year, suggesting that businesses are looking further afield as traditional finance becomes less available. Despite a raft of government schemes to boost traditional lending, the situation doesn’t appear to be improving. It’s therefore crucial that businesses, banks and the government wake up to the idea that high street lending is no longer the only option.

Peter Ewen, managing director of ABN AMRO Commercial Finance


The merger of Penguin and Random House will be good for investors, but bad for many authors.

The Penguin Random House merger is expected to be finalised in second half of 2013. It’ll be a tricky six months for both.

The US has been fixated on its election. Hurricane Sandy is a reminder the country’s not completely in charge of its destiny.

The European Commission has warned that, if no budget deal is agreed, EU grants will be cut. I hope MEPs will vote accordingly.