By Andrew Purves
Governments around the world are wrestling with the problems of enormous debts, low growth, high unemployment and a gap between the demands of public expenditure and what can be raised through taxation.
Only a few countries have been able to avoid this pattern, mostly those blessed with vast natural resources such as oil. However, there are two small islands with no natural resources which have also enjoyed high growth combined with low taxation: Hong Kong and Singapore. Nor do they have any public debts, on the contrary, they generally run a budget surplus, and investment income is a feature of their government revenue.
The author has gone beyond the conventional analysis of taxation, and asked what each jurisdiction has in common, to bring about this happy state of affairs.