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Topic for August 2020 - Bouncing back

    • 120 posts
    July 25, 2020 4:05 PM BST

    The topic for August is Bouncing Back: the economy, incentives and taxation

    Our draft agenda is below.


    Given the huge and growing debt as a result of Covid-19 and the Government’s need to meet its manifesto commitments in terms of spending and leveling up, how do we achieve this and pay down the debt over a reasonable period of time?

    What do we think of the Chancellor’s initiatives so far? Will they work? Are they enough? How long will it take to pay down the debt?

    What other ways might we generate growth? Can we generate growth more quickly, what would incentivise it?

    Where does taxation fit in? What can we tax without dampening down demand and/or sentiment? Are there exceptional taxes we should levy? What would increasing productivity generate? Is it an opportunity for more differential taxation such as taxing the negative things more heavily e.g. similar to the sugar tax and anything contributing to climate change?

    Should we follow the example of some billionaires and all those who haven’t been hurt by the crisis, or have even benefitted from it, make a donation to a National Fund e.g. make a donation of £1000 each. Similarly, businesses.



    A useful checklist re taxation might be:

    Taxes on income, Taxes on investment, Taxes on Wealth Creation, Taxes on Spending.
    Just to list a few: Personal taxes – Income tax, National Insurance, VAT, Capital Gains Tax, Road Tax, Investment Income Tax, Stamp Duty on property, Fuel Tax, Insurance Tax, Excise duties, Inheritance Tax. A number of these also apply to small and large businesses, plus: Corporation Tax, Tax on Dividends, Trade Tariffs, Local Govt Taxes – Rates/Council Tax, VAT.

    • 3 posts
    July 25, 2020 5:29 PM BST

    This topic will be discussed by Zero Gravity group on 29th July. A useful background document can be found here A Brief Guide to the UK Public Finances

    • 102 posts
    August 28, 2020 4:38 PM BST

    The Output on this topic from the Deep Thought group can now be found at:


    However this has been superceded by the 'Considered Document' on the subject which builds on the ideas from both the Deep Thought group and Zero Gravity group. It can be seen at:


    This post was edited by Tony Clack at August 28, 2020 4:39 PM BST
    • 120 posts
    August 28, 2020 4:43 PM BST

    The Probably42 'Considered Document' on the subject, which builds on the ideas from both the Deep Thought group and Zero Gravity group, is now available at: