A Prosperous New Year?
Britons to spend first five months paying tax - Telegraph
Tax Freedom Day is the day when Britons begin working for themselves rather than the taxman and falls on May 30 in 2011, compared to May 27 this year, the Adam Smith Institute revealed.
Families face £100 extra in petrol costs - Telegraph
Motorists face sharp increases in petrol prices in the new year as two tax rises coincide with an increase in the cost of oil, motoring groups have warned.
Inflation, and lots of it. We know about Vat going up to 20 per cent on 4 January, but it's what's going to come after that should really worry us, for a depressed economy is no barrier to rising prices, as we will shortly see.
Global commodity prices are spiralling out of sight once again; the $100 barrel of oil will return before January is out. Cotton is up 30 per cent since September, and corn by 35 per cent, for example. Some crop prices are back
Our public spending cuts will, in their own insidious way, also add to the inflationary pressures. This will include the trivial – car parking charges ramped skywards by desperate local authorities – to the highly material, such as dwindling subsidies for public transport and steep rises in commuter rail fares. And soon enough, there will be a 300 per cent rise in tuition fees for some. Meanwhile, the £6 gallon of petrol (£1.50 a litre) cannot be far away. Gas and electricity prices will see more eye-watering rises in 2011, on the back of record demand from the cold weather, here and now in North America. The list goes on.
That, then, will be the first round of inflation – and notice how it is concentrated on the basics of life – fuel, energy, food, clothing, public transport; stuff we cannot avoid spending our cash on. How big the second round of inflation proves to be depends on how workers respond as they fill up the car, do the shopping, pay the gas bill and buy their season tickets.