60 Seconds: Taxation is a taxing business



60 Seconds: Taxation is a taxing business


So, you think Mrs May has problems?  Well they pale into insignificance compared to the poor old Prime Minister of Haiti.

He’s just had the boot. (We will come back to footwear later).
Why, you may ask, was he kicked out and what’s it got to do with me?

Mr Lafontant made a number of mistakes which led to his downfall.

His first was to impose taxes on fuel at 40%.

Here he could have learnt a lesson from the UK which tried to raise taxes on fuel much more subtly every year through the fuel escalator.

But this was not a tax rise – no, it was designed to cut down on car use and so protect the environment. As if.

This all came to a grinding halt in 2000 when the truckers of the UK blocked the oil refineries. Mrs May is now tempted to reintroduce the escalator in order to pay for the NHS’s 70th birthday present.

In poor old hurricane-ravaged Haiti they take all this a little more seriously and in the riots that followed, three people died.

Mr Lafontant then made a second mistake.  He tried to sneak the price rise through during the World Cup.  The Haitian’s own football team is no great shakes, so the locals are huge Brazilian followers.  It was during this match that this price rise was announced.

The PM was sure the South Americans would easily defeat the bureaucrats of Belgium, and in the ensuing euphoria, no one would notice the price rise on fuel.  Oops.

Sneaking tax prices through the back door goes back a long way.  Income Tax was introduced in the UK as a temporary measure in 1799 to cover the cost of the Napoleonic Wars.  It still is a temporary tax and has to be reviewed every year.

For local authorities, (giving capping of Council Tax) their only real means of raising additional funds are through Section 106 agreements or CIL.

Now whether these are blackmail or bribery is another question.

Let’s presume it is not top of Mrs May’s shopping list nor indeed is her footwear.

Have a good weekend.


This week at Curtin&Co

It has been a very busy week for Curtin&Co. Firstly, we were delighted to be part of the project team that secured consent for a temporary storage facility at Wyton Airfield, Huntingdonshire on behalf of J Waltons.

“We were highly impressed with the insight Curtin&Co gave to the local political landscape and the impetus which this gave to securing a contentious planning permission at RAF Wyton in the face of significant resistance from some local Parish Councils. We’d highly recommend Curtin&Co to anyone seeking to secure strategic development proposals.”

Brian Mullin
Partner, Marrons Planning

Secondly, we were delighted to be part of the project team that secured consent for a mixed use development of 81 units at New Kent Road, Southwark, on behalf of Capital Homes. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Finally, Curtin&Co hosted its annual Summer reception on the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons. Thank you to John Healey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, for speaking at the event.  Also, a big thank you to Andrew Lewer MP, for sponsoring the event. And of course, thank you to everyone who attended – it was a fantastic afternoon!

In the news

Bleak house 
James Brokenshire provides stronger powers for councils to tackle empty homes

Curtin&Co’s David chats to City AM 
Opinion: How can the government claim to care about housing when it’s just appointed its third housing minister in seven months?

First-time buyers stamped out
Stamp duty clogging up property ladder as first-time buyer sales overtake home movers

Sea-riously good views
Sea view can add more than 50 percent to price of a home

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288