Public money ‘being misspent’ says global BBC poll

29 09 2010

A BBC survey in 22 countries says that people believe that governments misspend more than half of the money they receive in taxes.

But many people also want their government to play a more active role in the economy, the survey suggests.

This survey of more than 22,000 people in rich and developing countries has a bleak message for governments.

The figures vary from nation to nation, but the general picture is that people do not feel their taxes are well spent.

In Colombia and Pakistan, the average estimate of the amount of tax not spent in the public interest was more than two-thirds.

In no country was it less than one-third. Spain, at 34%, was the only one that came close to that.

Continue Reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11417470





IMF set to approve Sri Lanka loan payment

25 08 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated it will release the next tranche of a multi-billion dollar loan to Sri Lanka.

Following a two week mission to the country, the body gave an upbeat assessment of Sri Lanka’s economy.

It said government targets for deficit reduction were on track, with taxes increasing and spending being cut.

An IMF mission also arrived in Serbia on Monday to assess its economy with a view to releasing a loan payment.

The body agreed a 3bn euro ($3.8bn; £2.4bn) loan with the country last March.
‘Strong growth’

The IMF approved a $2.6bn (£1.7bn) loan to help Sri Lanka weather the global economic crisis last summer.

The Sri Lankan government also said it would use the money to pay for post-war reconstruction following the end of fighting with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Continue Reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11064346





Trickle-Up Economics?

16 08 2010

You’ve probably heard of trickle-down economics: the idea that tax cuts for the wealthy manage to also help the middle class and poorer. Well, in the world of marginal tax rates, welcome to trickle-up economics: the idea that tax cuts for the middle class and poorer also help the rich.

This is a point that has gotten somewhat overlooked in the debate about the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

President Obama has proposed that the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans expire as planned, but that the tax cuts for all other American households be extended. One interesting quirk of our tax system, however, means that the tax cuts for the “middle class” also benefit Americans who are much richer than “middle class.” In fact, these “middle class” tax cuts benefit richer Americans more than they benefit middle-class Americans.

Here’s a chart, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, showing the average tax savings for each income group that comes from the Obama administration’s tax proposal, rather than letting the tax cuts expire in their entirety:

Continue Reading: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/trickle-up-economics/?ref=economy