A teoria do derrame dos neo liberais, (trickle-down economics . O corte de impostos para as grandes empresas e os ricos .
Veja se um estudo centrado no caso inglês e veja se também o caso português . Não são as taxas actuais sobre as empresas e designadamente o IRC que tem travado o investimento privado. Um estudo a oferecer ao actual ministro da economia
Cortar o imposto sobre as sociedades não é uma bala mágica para aumentar o investimento
O investimento do setor privado no Reino Unido caiu para o nível mais baixo entre os países do G7 – corrigi-lo não será fácil
No final desta semana, espera-se que a chanceler cumpra a promessa de campanha de Liz Truss de reduzir o imposto sobre as sociedades. Em março de 2021, Rishi Sunak anunciou um aumento na alíquota do imposto corporativo no Reino Unido de 19% para 25%. Kwarteng cancelará esse aumento, reduzindo as taxas de impostos para as empresas, e Truss disse durante a disputa pela liderança que ela pode até querer cortá-los ainda mais, abaixo do mínimo global de 15% acordado no ano passado.
Figura 1: O Reino Unido participou de uma 'corrida para o fundo' global sobre o imposto sobre as sociedades
Sunak estava certo em aumentar o imposto sobre as sociedades. A alíquota de imposto do Reino Unido foi reduzida consistentemente desde 2007, de uma alíquota de 30% para os atuais 19%. Isso faz parte de uma tendência internacional mais ampla, com países desenvolvidos cortando impostos sobre empresas (figura 1) ( Blakeley 2018 ). No entanto, no Reino Unido, essa corrida ao fundo falhou em suas próprias promessas ( Dibb et al 2021 ). Este blog argumenta que não entregou os aumentos de investimento do setor privado que se pretendia alcançar.
A forma como os cortes de impostos sobre as empresas são justificados é mais ou menos assim: o Reino Unido tem baixos níveis de produtividade e baixos níveis de investimento de capital, e ambos precisam aumentar. Ao cortar as taxas de impostos, isso reduz a carga tributária das empresas, colocando dinheiro em seu balanço que elas investirão em capital ou pesquisa e desenvolvimento (P&D), o que resultará em crescimento econômico. Um objetivo secundário é que, por ter uma taxa de imposto 'competitiva' (ou seja, menor do que países comparáveis), o Reino Unido será um destino de investimento mais atraente.
The problem with this story is that it has not turned out like that. Whilst UK corporation tax rates have fallen since 2007, private sector investment is still amongst the lowest in the OECD, the lowest in the G7, and far below the average among developed economies. Corporate tax cuts have failed on their own promise.
As shown in figure 2, compared to comparable countries such as the USA, Germany, France and Japan, the UK has low private sector investment as a proportion of GDP. In 2019 the UK fell behind Italy and Canada to have the lowest private sector investment in the G7 as a proportion of GDP (figure 3). Within the OECD group of developed economies, the UK fell in the rankings from mid-range in 1995 to second from bottom in 2008. In the past decade, the UK’s highest ranking for private sector investment within the OECD was in 2016, when it ranked 28th out of 35 countries. In 2020, the most recent year for which we have good data, the UK was 28th out of 31 OECD countries, and bottom of the G7 (table 1).
What is clear from this is that cutting corporation tax has failed to increase the UK’s dire levels of private sector investment. In fact, while we have been engaged in the race to the bottom on business taxation, our relative performance on business investment has been worsening.
Figure 2: Private sector investment is lower in the UK than competitors
Figure 3: For the past two decades the UK has consistently ranked amongst the worst performers in the OECD for business investment
Note: The total number of countries in the OECD grew during this period so this ranking has been normalised to account for this variation.
Table 1: The UK’s poor performance is clear when compared against other G7 and OECD countries
Note: The UK is highlighted in yellow and the other six G7 countries in blue.
Note: Fewer than 38 countries are shown for private and public sector investment rankings as not all OECD nations have reported their data for the year of 2020, notably South Korea which ranked highly for private sector investment in other years.
Figure 4 compares the UK to other OECD countries (for whom we have data) on levels of corporate taxation and private sector investment in 2020. Firstly, there is little to no correlation between low corporation tax and higher levels of private sector investment. Secondly, the UK is already amongst the lowest tax rates in the OECD and, as already established, the lowest levels of private sector investment. Lastly, most developed economies have both higher rates of corporation tax and higher levels of private sector investment.
Figure 4: Most developed economies in the world have a higher tax rate than the UK and still foster more private sector investment
There is an argument that the UK will always have a significantly lower rate or private sector capital investment than other nations because our economy is skewed towards services rather than capital-intensive industry. In the UK, about 80 per cent of GDP is attributed to the service sector, similar to other countries with much higher rates of private sector investment such as France (78 per cent) and Belgium (78 per cent). Our poor investment performance cannot be attributed to our economic make-up alone.
What can we conclude from this?
- Cutting corporation tax is no panacea for raising investment
- Over the past decade we have cut corporation tax, and this has failed on its own promise of increasing private sector investment
- Despite having some of the lowest levels of corporate taxation in the OECD, we also have some of the lowest levels of business investment
- Most of our competitors have much higher levels of both corporation tax and investment
It is worth exploring why cutting tax seems to have had such little effect in boosting investment. What does motivate businesses to invest in the UK? At its most basic, firms invest when they see future opportunities for growth and profit. Whilst cutting taxes on businesses increases the amount of revenue they can devote to investment, it does not foster future growth opportunities, and it neglects other barriers to investment.
Wider barriers to investment may include poor digital and physical infrastructure, gaps in skills provision, political and institutional instability, an unsupportive policy environment, poor access to international markets, and poorly designed or outdated regulations and standards. In addition, firms are not motivated to invest in capital, innovation or productivity improvement in an uncompetitive environment and there are some signs that competition in the UK has declined since 2008 (CMA 2022). In an economy ripe with obvious investment opportunities and few barriers to investment, tax cuts would probably provide an additional boost to investment, but the fact that this has not happened in the UK is a sign that there is a wider malaise in the economy that must be remedied. Tax cuts are not a magic bullet and are no substitute for serious, informed policymaking.
So, if the government were serious about raising investment and growing the economy, what policies would be worth pursuing?
Commit to an industrial/economic strategy
- Para realmente aumentar o investimento, o governo deve se comprometer com uma estratégia adequada e abrangente de política informada que busque aumentar o investimento e a produtividade removendo as barreiras ao crescimento e promovendo oportunidades de investimento. Como o IPPR recomendou no passado ( Jacobs et al 2017 ), essa abordagem deve buscar melhorar o investimento tanto na fronteira tecnológica, mas também em setores de “cauda longa” de baixa produtividade, como cuidados, varejo e hospitalidade. Tal abordagem exige conhecimentos setoriais e melhores políticas em geral, em vez de medidas gerais.