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Monopolies

Pure monopoly is a theoretical market structure where there is only

One seller of a commodity or service, where entry into the industry is closed to potential competitors, and where the seller has complete control over the quan-, tity of goods offered for sale and the price at which goods are sold.

Monopolies may begin by the granting of a patent or a copyright, by the possession of a superior skill or talent, or by the ownership of strategic capital. The huge capital investment necessary to organise a firm in some countries is a barrier to entry in these monopolistic fields and, thus, provides established corporations in these industries with potential monopoly power.

At the same time, in recent years, many large U.S. corporations, viewed by many as the chief instrument of monopoly, have become vulnerable to new forms of competition. U.S. consumers can buy goods from foreign producers, pjthe case of automobile, they can purchase products made by Honda, Toyota, or Volvo, to name a few. The U.S. Government has tried to minimise the danger of monopolies through legislation.

The Budget

The budget is the government's main economic statement of the year. It is a forecast of revenue and expenditure for the conning year.

In Great Britain the budget is prepared and usually issued in March. In a major speech to Parliament, the Chancellor of the Exchequer re­views the nation's economic performance and describes the govern­ment's economic objectives and the economic policies it intends to fol­low in order to achieve them.

In November 1993 Great Britain introduced the "so-called" Uni­fied Budget. Under this budget the government presents taxation and spending proposals to Parliament at the same time. The Budget now covers both the government's taxation plans for the coming financial year and its spending plans for the next three years. The proposals are announced to the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Ex­chequer in the Budget statement and are published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report. This report also contains a review of recent developments in the economy, together with an economic fore­cast, and sets out the fiscal and monetary policies.

Taxes

Taxes are a compulsory financial contribution by a person or body of persons towards the expenditure of a public authority.

The government has a choice of taxing income, wealth or consump­tion to finance its expenditure on defence, social services, municipal services etc.

The main forms of direct tax are income tax paid by individuals and corporation tax paid by businesses. Income tax in Great Britain dates from the 1790s and has until recently been the major source to generate tax revenue. Income tax can be progressive, proportional or regressive. The idea of a progressive tax is to take more from those who earn more.

Indirect taxes are imposed on certain products or services that peo­ple buy. The main ones are value added tax and excise duties.

Pressure to increase government expenditure may lead to a search of new taxes.

Some people argue for a more direct link between specific taxes and particular items of government expenditure. For example, taxes from motorists could be spent on roads and the transport system while the tax from alcohol and tobacco could be spent on the national health service. But it is impossible for the government to match all individual taxes with particular spending programmes.

The major principles of a tax system are that it should be equitable and reasonable. Then the incentive to avoid and evade tax would be less. The system of tax collection shouldn't be costly and shouldn't contain a lot of tax allowances and exemptions.

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