blueprint media

Month: July, 2014

Like Laffer

Flat tax rates are in the news again. The idea is that the lower the tax rates, the more revenue can be collected.

New figures produced by HMRC tell us that when the top tax rate, in 2012-2013, was 50 per cent, it raised £39.3 billion from those earning more than £150,000 a year.

In 2013-2014, when the top rate was reduced to 45 per cent, such earners paid £48.4 billion.

Source: Ian King, The Times, 28th July 2014.
blueprint brief – 31st July 2014

Soft Exports

The UK ranks joint second in the world, after the USA and alongside Australia, according to a British Council report, As Others See Us, on “soft power”.

This assesses the views of educated young foreigners throughout the world and is based on culture, history, language and people.

On exporting it is a different matter.

The International Trade Centre ranks China top world exporter, with Germany, Japan, Netherlands, France and Korea ahead of the UK which exports $550 billion worth of goods a year.

The Netherlands has a population of 17 million compared to the UK’s 65 million and yet exports 20 per cent more.

Source: Louise Cooper, The Times, Tuesday 22nd July 2014.
blueprint brief – 23rd July 2014

Peak Beard

Within the Islamic Caliphate controlled currently by ISIS, “men should be able to grab their beards with both fists, one hand underneath the other and still have extra hair sticking out of the bottom”.

Under Assad, men went clean-shaven, while under the control of the Free Syrian Army, neat beards were de rigueur.

Blueprint brief: 16th July 14
Source: Hannah Lucinda Smith, The Times, 15 July 2014.

Windies World

People in the West Indies, as we in Britain sometimes call it, are often lumped together quite wrongly as one people.

“Apart from the accident of their having been under British rule Barbadians, St Lucians, Guyanese and Jamaicans have very little in common with each other.

Were you to superimpose a map of Europe on the Caribbean, Jamaica would be Edinburgh; Trinidad, north Africa; and Barbados, Italy:
the islands are that far apart”.

Blueprint brief – 2nd July 2014
Source: Ian Thomson, The Spectator, 28 June 2014, reviewing Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day, by Carrie Gibson.