Flat Tax Cover-up
The Treasury has suppressed arguments in favour of introducing a flat tax - a radically simplified system charging the same rate on all income - documents passed to The Daily Telegraph show.
The system is being backed by free market reformers worldwide but a Treasury paper released under the Freedom of Information Act last month had key sections detailing the advantages blacked out.
As a result, it was interpreted as showing that the Government had dismissed as "misleading" arguments for abolishing all exemptions and charging the same rate of tax on all personal and corporate income.
The uncensored paper seen by The Daily Telegraph presents a more balanced picture, acknowledging that a flat tax could increase economic activity and tax revenue, making Britain more attractive to foreign investors. It could create a "mini-economic boom" and would "eliminate distortions", the paper says.
Part of a two-page section that was removed says: "The reduction in rates and thus the tax burden faced by individuals should, in theory, stimulate further economic growth" and would establish "a one-off virtuous circle from tax cuts to and would "eliminate distortions", the paper says.
I will leave the arguments in favour of a Flat Tax to those more qualified to comment - though the simple advantages of fairness, simplicity and the success elsewhere seem self-evident.
More interesting is the way that this briefing paper was censored - I can't think of a possible national security risk, nor of any personal details that could be at risk by this disclosure - purely that it might be embarrassing for the Government and the entrenched special interest groups in the Treasury.
And also here is a simple clear policy that the Tories could adopt that would differentiate themselves from nu-Labour, that would align themselves with some of the booming EU countries rather than the stagnant ones. Because if the Tories don't start pushing some policies that we can identify as Tory then what is the point of the Tory party? Answers on a postcard please.