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Call For UK 'Degree Tax'

Friday, March 5, 2010

The UK corporate income tax rate should be hiked in line with the G7 average of 32.87% in order to fund higher education, a representative body for the country’s universities and colleges has said.

The report, released on March 3, 2010 by the University and College Union (UCU), advocates that the government increase the corporate tax rate to raise enough money to abolish all university tuition fees, effectively passing the financial burden of a highly skilled UK labour market to the businesses that benefit.

The union says the move would mean that the UK's main corporation tax would remain below that of France, Japan and the United States, but would leave 96% of companies in the UK unaffected by the change.

The union says its plans for a 'Business Education Tax' (BET) are “the first coherent attempt at making business pay its way for the numerous benefits it gets from UK higher education.”

At the beginning of the debate on fees for higher education, the landmark Dearing report in 1997 listed the three beneficiaries of higher education as the individual, the state and the employer, and said the key was finding a fair way to get all three to pay their share.

The UCU notes that since the Dearing report, fees and top-up fees have been introduced, the state has continued to invest, but the employers' contribution has been "negligible."

The union also said that despite benefiting from more generous business tax arrangements than other countries, UK employers spend less on employee training and development and invest less than the global average in supporting university research and development. However, should the BET to be introduced, the investment required from students would still be considerable, the unions notes, to meet the cost of rent, food, bills and books.

The UCU said the report is a "radical and pragmatic response to a pressing problem for the UK." It cited Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson's 2p in the pound tax on central London businesses, to fund the Crossrail project, as evidence of an emerging consensus that business must pay its fair share for public services from which it benefits.

Graduates, the UCU points out, generally enjoy higher productivity than other workers, at the same time benefiting the companies that employ them. On average, the Times Top 100 graduate employers will employ 138 graduates each in 2010, and the union argues that companies like these are benefiting from the plentiful supply of graduates without paying towards them. The union said its plans would favour tax breaks on the BET for companies who fund their employees to learn new skills, thus creating “a virtuous cycle of positive practice”.

UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “Our proposals are based on fairness. The future for the UK is as a high-skilled knowledge economy and that requires business to pay its fair share towards something which benefits us all.”

“We are asking that the UK government increase corporation tax to the G7 average, which would still leave it lower than the rate when the Conservative Party was last in power.”

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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