London (CNN) – I have a confession to make. I don’t like pasties - the rather dry, pastry-heavy snack causing tax troubles for the British government.
Finance minister George Osborne, in a clamp down on VAT avoidance, has decided the tax should now be charged on hot takeaway food. It was obvious from the moment the proposal was announced there would be problems. Buy a pasty, pie or cake and have it served hot - you pay VAT. Take it cold and you don’t.
While the bakers and pie eaters of Britain may be up in arms, anyone who has studied tax knows that these tricky intricacies are inevitable. They happen all the time, especially since snack taxes have been introduced in the U.S. to help prevent obesity. There are even learned journals and articles on the subject.
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)
(CNN) – India will overtake China as the world’s biggest economy by 2050, a new report says.
This follows China’s rise to the top spot in 2020 at the expense of the United States, according to the 2012 Wealth Report by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank.
The survey was published as India hosts the BRICS summit of emerging economies, which also includes China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. FULL POST
(CNN) – It’s been a bad year to be a BRIC.
As the leaders of the BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India, China – gather in India for the summit Thursday, there is a nagging reality weighing on the world’s fastest growing emerging economies – they’re not growing as fast any more.
Brazil has seen its once blistering economy slow to an estimated 2.7% this year. Russia’s recovery from the global recession has been slow compared with other developing economies, the World Bank said in a report this week. Growth in India has steadily fallen as the nation lurches from scandal to scandal, most recently a report that alleges the government lost $211 billion in coal mining contracts.
Even the economic juggernaut of China has been slowing down, with Beijing dropping its projected growth this year to 7.5% which, if realized, would be the lowest growth rate since 1990, according to World Bank statistics.
What’s going on with the BRICs? FULL POST
(CNN) – Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos plans to dive 14,000 feet below the surface and raise the F-1 engines that fired Neil Armstrong to the moon in July 1969.
Just days earlier, producer and director James Cameron lived out his own real-life adventure, plunging solo to the deepest point known in the world’s ocean – 35,800 feet under the surface.
Not to be outdone, British businessman Richard Branson has announced plans for his own deep dive. “The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest place in the Atlantic and is deeper than Mount Everest is high,” Branson says on the website.
“It should prove to be quite an adventure.”
A bevy of wealthy entrepreneurs are setting off for extremes, be it the depth of the ocean or the widths of space.
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