Merryn’s blog

Agricultural subsidies: public money should mean public access

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.

Shareholder capitalism needs a reboot

The obscene pay packages pocketed by listed company chief executives demonstrate that shareholder capitalism isn’t working quite as it should. But it can be fixed, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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

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?

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?

Christmas books for the lefties in your family

Industrialists, capitalists and big business get a hard time in literature. Merryn Somerset Webb aims to change that with some books that show free markets in a good light.

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

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.

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