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

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Pakistan floods: World Bank to lend $900m for recovery

17 08 2010

The World Bank is to loan $900m (£574m) to Pakistan to help it recover from its worst ever flooding.

The devastating floods have affected up to 20 million people and left some 2,000 dead, say officials.

But the UN says international aid has been slow and that it has raised only a third of the $460m (£294m) needed for emergency relief.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain said it could take five years and $15bn (£9.6bn) for the country to recover.

The World Bank funds will come through the reprogramming of planned projects and the reallocation of money, a World Bank spokesman said.

“We are reprioritising to make the funds immediately available,” he told Reuters news agency.

Health officials have warned that disease could spread quickly among the millions of displaced people and that 3.5m children are at risk.

Maurizio Giuliano, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), warned that Pakistan would face “a second wave of deaths” from water-borne diseases and food shortages unless more aid arrived soon.

Continue Reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10994989





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





China marches towards world’s No. 2 economy

16 08 2010

China's GDP was smaller than Japan's in 2009 but the IMF expects that wont be the case by the end of this year. But China still trails the United States by a wide margin.


China is on track to overtake Japan as the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, figures released Monday show.
Japan’s gross domestic product, or GDP, totaled $1.29 trillion for the three months ending in June, the nation’s Cabinet Office announced. China’s official figure for the same period was $1.34 trillion.

Economist Frederic Neumann at HSBC in Hong Kong said China is forecast to overtake Japan by the end of the year — making China the world’s No. 2 economy. However, official annual figures won’t come until early 2011.

The International Monetary Fund expects China’s output to reach $5.4 trillion by the end of 2010. By comparison, it estimates Japan’s GDP at $5.3 trillion.

Another analyst says the whole matter is academic.

“Basically, China’s underlying growth rate is going to be about 8 percent over the next decade. Japan’s underlying is going to be about 1 percent,” said Jesper Koll, an economist with JPMorgan in Tokyo. “In 10 year’s time, the Chinese economy will be twice the size of the Japanese economy.”

Continue Reading: http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/16/news/international/japan_china/index.htm





German economy sees ‘record’ growth of 2.2%

13 08 2010

The German economy grew by 2.2% in the three months to the end of June, its fastest quarterly growth in more than 20 years, official figures show.

“Such quarter-on-quarter growth has never been recorded before in reunified Germany,” the national statistics office, Destatis, said.

The main reason for the higher-than-expected growth was strong exports, helped by a weaker euro.

The eurozone economy grew by 1% during the quarter.

This compares with growth of 0.2% in the first three months of the year, the area’s official statistics agency, Eurostat, said.

The French economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter, also up from 0.2%, while the Spanish economy grew by 0.2%, compared with 0.1% in the previous three months.

The pace of growth in the Italian economy remained the same, at 0.4%.

Continue Reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10962017