Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Parties neck-and-neck in poll

Although the Conservatives are doing better in key Labour-held marginals than the country as a whole, Labour are just ahead overall in 100 key seats, according to a poll in The Times today: Poll

If this poll was reflected in a general election, it would make the Conservatives the largest party but deny them an overall majority. There is a still strong mood among voters that it is 'time for a change', but they remain unconvinced that the Conservatives would be the right change.

The Lord Ashcroft affair has not helped the Conservatives, partly because it is an unwelcome distraction but also because it raises questions about David Cameron's character.


Shankar said...

Hi Wyn, was just wondering. How much money does the UK actually lose to tax evasion? Is it a serious problem? I worked in a small firm in London recently, and the boss proudly told me how he paid next to no tax (he said this was avoidance not evasion and hence legal). It can be populist to rail against tax avoidance, but that is not always a bad thing, in the same way the elitism is not always bad.

Wyn Grant said...

I think it is a significant problem given the resources that Revenue and Customs devote to it. There is certainly a sizeable black economy. It is difficult to say precisely how big it is, although various attempts have been made. Some of this is small beer, although cumulatively important. HMRC has been cracking down recently on offshore accounts as well as on non-declared income with some success.

Anonymous said...

I recall Sir Samuel Brittan saying that the black economy was the oil on the wheels of the British economy.