Merryn’s blog

Agricultural subsidies: public money should mean public access

Ramblers © Getty Images

In the post-Brexit reform of agricultural subsidies, landowners in receipt of public money should expect the public to be given access to their land, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

A quick and simple way to give everybody a bigger state pension

Pensioners at a market © Getty Images

OECD research reveals that the UK has one of the least generous state pension schemes. But there is a cheap and simple way to change that, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Should we tax housebuilders more heavily than other companies?

Signs for housebuilders © Getty Images

The government’s Help to Buy scheme has been the main driver behind many housebuilders’ profits. So should it get a bigger slice of those profits back in tax?

The new Scottish tax regime: gesture politics at its most pathetic

Derek Mackay and Nicola Sturgeon © Getty Images

The SNP’s change to income tax has alienated the most productive members of society and put the economy and revenues at long term risk, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

How changes to landlords’ tax rules could force house prices down

Changes in the tax relief afforded to landlords could wipe out much of the profit from buy-to-let, and drag down house prices across the board.

One rule for ordinary Americans, another for American hedge fund managers

Most US citizens are taxed on all their income no matter where on earth it is earned. The only ones who aren’t, it seems, are hedge-fund managers.

iWar: the battle between big tech and big government

Google’s €2.4bn fine by the EU should leave nobody in any doubt that the carefree days of the big tech companies are numbered, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

If the rich leave the country, we will all miss them

Many people are not fond of rich people domiciled elsewhere for tax purposes. But they still pay a lot in tax, and if they go, the country will miss them, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The FCA should get tough on the fund management industry

The financial regulator has taken a swipe at high fund management fees. The industry will resist change, but the FCA needs to act quickly and decisively, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Chinese A-shares, emerging markets, and the myth of passive investing

MSCI’s decision to include Chinese “A-shares” in its emerging market index shines a fascinating light on the passive vs active investing debate, days Merryn Somerset Webb.

How to keep your money safe: stay away from “interesting” investments

When everything is expensive and things are changing faster than you can keep up with, the safe thing to do remains the boring thing to do, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

What to buy for the long term in this politically charged climate

If you feel wrong-footed by endless elections and uncertain about the future, what should you buy if you want to invest and forget about it for ten years or more?

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