The Nordic model
[Re: How Sweden reformed its state to lay the foundations for future growth, yesterday]
All those on the left who look to Sweden as the ideal society should read this article. The common image of a socialist nation, with all-encompassing state provision, needs refining. Not only is Sweden weathering this recession better than other Western economies. It has also thought sensibly and hard about what its state can feasibly provide. At the heart of this was a concerted effort to break the link in the public mind between equality and state provision. As Sweden shows, liberalising regulation and privatising services can and does result in good social outcomes.
[Re: Taxing times for tobacco as smokers count the change, yesterday]
I read Marc Sidwell’s piece with interest. According to HMRC, the average tax on cigarettes was 82.2 per cent of retail price in 2012, rising to nearly 86 per cent in the ultra-low price category. And according to our research, in Spain the figure is about 83 per cent. It is always difficult to directly correlate higher tobacco excise with a rise in illicit trade (other factors like geographic location and enforcement resources are often just as important). But high tax incidence does fuel a sense of injustice in consumers, pushing some onto the black market.
Shane MacGuill, analyst at Euromonitor International
BEST OF TWITTER
Given that David Beckham’s salary is going to charity rather than his pocket, will the French government still take 75 per cent tax?
If NHS and schools (and now defence) are still ringfenced from 2015, will that mean 35 per cent cuts to non-ringfenced departments?
There has been a talent exodus in French football. High taxes can do the same to the rest of the economy.
The question is whether there was anything Blackberry could have realistically done that would have spiked its stock.