All So Obvious — UK Brain Drain and Taxes

Back in April I blogged on what the consequences of Britain’s tax hikes would be: businesses packing up and leaving. Today a survey published in the Daily Telegraph suggests that hundreds of businesses are thinking about exiting and setting up overseas, and one-in-five entrepreneurs say they would not consider starting up in the UK again.

When will politicians learn that we live in a wired world and that tax competition strengthens the link between diminishing returns and high taxes. Meanwhile, Britain pours out money for military adventurism abroad — Iraq and Afghanistan — and is planning to spend billions on an updated nuclear weapon — all to prove Britain still rules the waves. And we lecture Putin that national greatness should not nowadays be equated with military greatness.

Home for the Holidays

The UK Telegraph reports that record numbers of Britons are staying in the UK for their summer vacations. Debenhams are sending urgent supplies of flip-flops to seaside towns that were deserted in past years.

It isn’t only Britons who are staying close to home for the summer. The north-east coastal towns of Italy have seen a fall-off of the tourist trade with more than 30 percent declines from the numbers of last summer. And last year was no fun for the hotels of Rimini and other northern seaside towns with 20 percent or more declines then.

Where I am working from currently in Lazio, the numbers are clearly down as well. Largo di Bolsena is without the Dutch and Swedes this year, with just a few around and those normally are the ones who own property in the area. And this weekend the lake was crowded with local families who can’t afford to travel south or visit overseas. The Tuscan beaches are virtually empty on weekdays.