Taxation is in the news – and a plug for my colleague Rachel Griffith’s recent RES lecture on the taxation of multinationals is in order given today’s headlines about Google. John Gapper was spot on in his discussion about this in the FT today (£), Alphabet and Apple Spell Global Tax War: “Multinationals, especially US corporations subject to America’s dysfunctional tax laws, stretched rules to the point where the result appals taxpayers.”
Important stuff. But even bigger news is the publication tomorrow of the in our Perspectives series, Bad Habits, Hard Choices: Using the Tax System to Make us Healthier by David Fell.
[amazon_image id=”1907994505″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Bad Habits, Hard Choices: Using the Tax System to Make Us Healthier (Perspectives)[/amazon_image]
It’s a highly persuasive argument that the government shouldn’t hesitate to reshape taxation to make good foods cheaper and bad foods dearer. I particularly like this endorsement from David Cadman, Visiting Professor at University College London and the University of Maryland: “The fact that I read, at one sitting, a book on VAT is a tribute to Fell’s ability as a writer. I liked the book very much – original, informative and well argued.” Of course the recent discussion about a sugar tax is relevant, but David’s case is broader. It isn’t just corporation tax that’s dysfunctional. So is VAT, a large government distortion of market prices contributing to ill-being, not well-being.