Hugo Dixon is a columnist and entrepreneur. He is chairman and editor in chief of InFacts, a journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case for Britain to stay in the European Union. His most recent book is "The In/Out Question: Why Britain Should Stay in the EU and Fight to Make it Better". He founded Breakingviews in 1999, was editor in chief and chairman until it was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2009, and continued to edit it until 2012. Before founding Breakingviews, Hugo spent 13 years at the Financial Times, the last five as Head of Lex. He began his journalistic career at the Economist. Follow him on twitter: @hugodixon
There’s a growing investor consensus that post-pandemic recovery plans should be green. But what should those “green new deals” look like? How should they be funded? And how can governments be pressurised to play ball?
Struggling individuals, businesses and countries deserve financial support during the pandemic. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves. Massive, taxpayer-funded rescues may encourage excessive risk-taking in the future and provoke new populist backlashes when the bills need to be paid.
The UK introduced income tax to fund the Napoleonic Wars. America imposed it to pay for the civil war. The coronavirus pandemic is not literally a war. But it will lead to massive borrowing. Higher taxes are a better way to repay it than austerity, default or inflation.