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In these frequent observations, we look at aspects of topical issues related to our research programme. A special issue of Fiscal Studies launched today shows how wealth is concentrated among a small number of households, and is much more concentrated than incomes. In fact, as the papers published in the volume show, we have been learning a lot about the wealth distribution in recent years, especially following the introduction of the Wealth and Assets Survey.
The rest of this observation highlights what we know about the wealth distribution in the UK.
The least wealthy one percent of households (the 1st percentile) have negative net wealth (i.e. The wealthiest 1% of households hold about 20% of household wealth, the top 5% of hold approximately 40%, and the top 10% hold over 50% of wealth (see Table 1 of Alvaredo et al.). Crawford and Hood, use the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (a survey that contains a representative sample of individuals in England aged 50 or over), to investigate the effect that the receipt of inheritances has on the distribution of wealth. Inheritances are smaller in absolute terms for those lower down the wealth distribution, but they are more important relative to other wealth holdings.
However, this inequality-reducing impact of inheritances and gifts shrinks (or even disappears) when public and private pensions are included in the measure of household wealth. Measuring the wealth distribution is difficult and there is value in using all available data sources (survey data, data from estates, data from capital income etc.) to obtain the best possible understanding of the wealth distribution. In a new report and accompanying interactive online tool out today IFS researchers provide an explanation of how the EU budget works, its size, where revenues come from and what the main areas of spending are. This is not an estimate of how much stronger the public finances would be if we were to leave the EU.
The spending side of the EU budget is dominated by two spending areas which together account for over three quarters of the budget: Structural and cohesion funds on the one hand, and agriculture and rural development on the other, each account for about 38% of total EU spending. Cohesion funds go to the poorer EU nations – those with GNI per capita below 90% of the average.
Structural funds go to regions within countries according to how poor they are relative to the EU average, but also according to levels of employment and population sparsity. The agriculture and rural development budgets remain large, though they have been shrinking as a fraction of the total budget.
The UK gets relatively little from these budgets, partly because we have relatively little farmland given the size of our population and partly because, for historical reasons, we get lower payments per hectare of farmland than many other countries. There is clearly room for reform and improvement of the budget and budget processes on both the spending and revenue side.
This report was produced with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council’s The UK in a Changing Europe initiative. However, the simplicity of the new system has been at best misunderstood and at worst overstated. These arrangements for those who have been contracted out are a necessary complexity of the transition process. There are sensible reasons why not everyone is entitled to the same state pension amount, but this is likely to still come as a surprise to many people. The new pension system is simpler than the old one even in the short run, but in a more subtle way. But continued complexity is unavoidable in the short-run, as people are moved over from the old system to the new. In Budget 2016 the Chancellor announced a 'soft drinks industry levy' due to take effect from April 2018.
New analysis by IFS researchers, published as an IFS Briefing Note today, shows over 90% of households purchase more than the recommended share of their calories as added sugar and carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks account for 17% of added sugar purchases. The case for government intervention to reduce sugar intake is that there are costs associated with consumption that are not taken into account by the individual when choosing what to eat.
The effectiveness of the tax in reducing sugar intake will depend on how strongly people switch from the products that are taxed, and, crucially, what products they switch to buying instead. A tax on the sugar in soft drinks targets only one source of added sugar; a broader based tax on all sources would likely lead to larger reductions in dietary sugar. The Scottish Government’s Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) estimates the overall levels of government revenues and spending in Scotland and the implicit budget deficit or surplus in the previous year.
Since our last projections were made the OBR has revised its forecasts, with the UK deficit now forecast to be a little higher in the period from 2016-17 to 2018-19. However in the case of Scotland, our projections are for a larger budget deficit in each and every year. The estimates of Scotland’s budget deficit in 2013-14 contained in GERS 2014-15 were higher than those in the previous edition of GERS, reflecting upwards revisions to estimates of government spending in Scotland. Oil and gas revenues are now forecast to be lower, following further falls in expected oil prices, and cuts to the tax rates levied on oil and gas producers. Declines in oil and gas prices, profits and investment also mean that Scotland’s economy has grown less quickly than previously projected.
The Table also quantifies the differences between the projected Scottish budget deficits and the OBR’s forecasts for the UK as a whole. Scotland is largely insulated from the consequences of the substantial gap between the government revenues it generates and the government expenditure undertaken in or on behalf of Scotland.
Figures on the Scottish deficit would be much more important if it became fully responsible for managing its own public finances.
However, it is important to realise that our projections are calculated on the same basis as GERS, which allocates to Scotland a population-based share of spending on things like defence and interest payments on the UK’s national debt. An independent Scotland might have been able to negotiate a good deal on the share of the UK’s debt it took on. Independence would also, in principle, give the Scottish Government more freedom to tax and spend more or less, which could have implications for the Scottish budget deficit. Of course if oil prices and production had risen rather than fallen, rather than revising down earlier revenue forecasts, the OBR would be revising them up. Having said this, it’s important to remember revenues can come in ahead of forecasts too. Onshore taxes are projected on the basis that the amount paid per person in Scotland grows in line with forecast growth in onshore revenues per person for the UK as a whole. The same basic set of assumptions was used in our last projections too, although these were, of course, based on GERS 2013-14 and the figures available in the OBR’s March 2015 EFO. In broad terms income inequality is lower than before the recession as increasing levels of employment have helped those towards the bottom of the income distribution and falling real wages have hit those in work, including higher earners. The direct effect of government tax and benefit policy, on the other hand, has been to take money from those working age benefit recipients towards the bottom of the income distribution.
The lighter dotted line shows our projections of what will happen to incomes over the next five years. The extent to which changes in the overall economy can be attributed to government policy is an open question. The long-run impact of planned changes over the course of this parliament follows a similar pattern, for a similar set of reasons. So the income distribution has narrowed, but tax and benefit changes planned for this parliament will likely help take it back to something like pre-recession levels.
The UK and Scottish Governments have so far failed to agree the new 'fiscal framework' that must accompany the transfer of tax and welfare powers recommended by the Smith Commission and set out in the Scotland Bill.
We find that there are clear rationales behind the positions of both the UK and Scottish governments.
We also find that the recent 'compromise' proposal from the UK government represents a significant move towards the Scottish Government's position - but that the two sides remain some way apart on how differences in population growth between Scotland and the rest of the UK (rUK) should be reflected in the block grant adjustment (BGA) indexation method.
The Scottish Government’s position is that 'no detriment' applies on an ongoing basis.
This leads it to favour the indexation method known as Per Capita Indexed Deduction (PCID), where each year the BGA is increased or decreased by the rate of change of devolved revenues in rUK adjusted to account for the relative change in population between Scotland and rUK. The reason for this relates to the continued use of the Barnett Formula to determine Scotland’s block grant. This is important because when the BGA is initially set, it will take account of the fact that Scotland raises less income tax per capita than rUK. One implication of the LD approach is that there would be no further redistribution of income tax revenues from rUK to Scotland. However, another implication of this approach is that it sets a particularly high bar for Scottish revenue growth if the Scottish budget is to keep pace with what it would be without devolution of income tax. In an earlier paper published last November we showed that the difference in the amount of money available to the Scottish government under the PCID and LD approaches could easily differ by over a billion a year after just a decade or so. In an attempt to reach a compromise, the UK Government has put forward a new proposal that moves significantly towards the Scottish Government's preferred approach. Looking at income tax only, if revenues grow at the same rate per capita in Scotland and rUK, then the Scottish Government would be no better or worse off under their proposals than without any devolution of income tax alone. While the UK government has made significant concessions from its initial position, there are still hundreds of millions of pounds a year to play for.
David Bell and David Eiser are at the University of Stirling and the Centre on Constitutional Change.
This analysis and accompanying paper was supported by funding from the Nuffield Foundation.
In an attempt to shed some light on these issues, a new paper by IFS researchers published today sets out how the current tax system seeks to tax corporate profits, what problems this can lead to and how the OECD’s two year Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project has sought to prevent tax avoidance.
Multinationals operate across tax jurisdictions and create profits from activities in many countries. Multinationals are in a good position to be able to employ hordes of tax advisors that help them to conclude any uncertainty in way that leads to lower tax bills, and to take advantage of any loopholes to avoid tax. If the outcomes produced by the current tax rules are deemed "derisory” then there are at least two options that are more helpful than complaining that firms are behaving badly. First, governments could improve the current tax rules to prevent certain avoidance behaviours.
Second, it is open to government to pursue a much more radical course of action: to scrap the corporate tax system as we currently know it and write a new one that better serves our objectives. ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance. We are delighted to have produced this year’s Green Budget in association with ICAEW and with funding from ICAEW and the Nuffield Foundation. As in the last parliament, grants to councils are set to be cut substantially over the next 4 years. But councils also have other sources of revenue: they retain a portion of business rates revenues and levy and retain council tax, and taken together these are a much bigger source of revenue than grants from DCLG. Looking at how much councils will have to spend in total, including these additional sources of revenue, the cuts will be around 7% in real terms over the next four years. These figures are national averages though, so how might the cuts affect different councils?
Note: Greater London Authority non-police, non-fire spending power allocated to London councils in proportion to population.
But this pattern is set to change because of a change in the way DCLG allocates cuts to grants across councils. This means, looking ahead over the next 4 years, cuts to spending power will be much more evenly distributed across councils than they were over the last parliament – as shown in Figure 2.
Why is a bigger squeeze on poorer councils still happening if DCLG is now accounting for differences in reliance on grant funding?
Over the last few years, councils wanting to raise council tax by more than 2% have had to call a referendum.
The full localisation of business rates will also represent a significant transfer of additional money to councils and the government will be asking councils to take on additional responsibilities in return for this extra money. Yesterday’s announcements are, therefore, just part of some genuinely revolutionary changes that are taking place to local government finance. Most European countries experienced a significant increase in government borrowing in the wake of the global financial crisis and Great Recession. Compared with usual cross-country macroeconomic assessments of public finances (for example, by the IMF or the OECD), this special issue relies heavily on the use of micro data and detailed microsimulation models and hence presents a deeper analysis that aims at enhanced comparability between these countries.
In the years preceding the financial crisis, Ireland and Spain appeared to have the healthiest fiscal positions out of these six countries – having run overall budget surpluses for at least the preceding three years.
Although suffering a little less severely, France, Italy and the UK also saw their underlying public finances weaken – each by just over 5 per cent of GDP. Irish Cottage Holiday Homes offer a fantastic range of traditional self catering holiday cottages, modern holiday homes and holiday apartments in Ireland.
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Younger generations are on course to have less wealth at each point in life than earlier generations and inheritances do little to even out wealth holdings. But this survey cannot tell us much about the top 1% who hold around 20% of household wealth.
The household population is divided into 100 groups– and is ordered from those with the least wealth (those on the left) to those with the most. Household wealth comprises gross financial wealth, gross housing wealth, private pension wealth less mortgage and non-mortgage debt.
The Gini coefficient (a summary measure for how unequal a distribution is) is 0.64 for wealth. These authors also find that household wealth in the UK has become more concentrated since the turn of the century. These increases are largely driven by increases in pension wealth; average household wealth held outside pensions fell in real terms between these years, except for the youngest households. The impact of transfers on the distribution of this broader measure of wealth gives a better indication of the impact of transfers on lifetime resources. Alvaredo, Atkinson and Morelli conclude (and we agree) that data on wealth in the UK and elsewhere are in need of substantial and continued investment if researchers are to be able to communicate firm conclusions to policymakers about trends in the wealth distribution. That would depend in part on the deal reached with EU – it is possible that an alternative arrangement of relations with the remaining EU countries would involve the UK continuing to make significant contributions to the EU Budget. While there is a rational process in place to determine its size and allocation it is, perhaps inevitably, subject to considerable political horse trading between countries.
Nearly three quarters comes simply from GNI based contributions – that is countries contribute according to their Gross National Income. Given the way the EU is funded they, alongside the structural funds which go to poorer regions, ensure that the EU budget is redistributive from richer countries such as the UK to poorer countries, largely in Eastern and Southern Europe. Relative to other rich countries the UK looks like it should do relatively well from these funds because it has some really quite poor regions such as West Wales and the Valleys and Cornwall.
They have also been reformed such that they no longer directly subsidise production – we no longer create wine lakes and butter mountains. It was, in large part, because of these relatively low receipts that the UK negotiated for and obtained its rebate back in the 1980s.
But since the overall fiscal flows between the UK and the EU are relatively small – our gross contribution is around 2% of public spending, our net contribution around 1% - the scale of the benefits to the UK from improving the budget processes should not be overestimated. First, it will be more generous to many of those approaching retirement who have spent time self-employed or out of the labour market for reasons such as caring for children or other adults, and who accrued lower state pension entitlements under the old system as a result. Our analysis suggests that 43% of those reaching the state pension age between 6 April 2016 and 5 April 2020 are likely to receive a higher state pension under the new system than under the old system.
These people will have their state pension reduced in recognition of the lower contributions that they paid.
It would have been very generous to these people not to reduce their state pension in recognition of the lower contributions they made as a result of contracting out. After 6th April, DWP will be informing all individuals of their 'foundation amount' – that is, how much state pension they would be entitled to now if they undertook no further activity. There is a considerable risk of disillusionment as people start claiming pension incomes this year. Households with children obtain around 50% more of their added sugar from soft drinks, compared with households with no children. As is the case with alcohol consumption, these costs include publicly funded health costs of treating diet-related disease or unanticipated future health problems.
This gives the chancellor time to adjust the structure of the tax to make sure it better targets the sugar content of products.
For simplicity we refer to a negative net fiscal balance as a budget deficit and a positive net fiscal balance as a budget surplus. This reflects lower underlying revenue growth due to a weaker economic outlook, and a slower pace of spending cuts than planned back in Spring 2015. This higher level of government spending is estimated to have persisted in 2014-15, and then feeds into our projections for 2015-16 and future years. This means that a given cash deficit represents are larger share of the, now smaller, economy. This is because the Scottish Government gets most of its funding in the form of a block grant from the UK government, and the UK government uses revenues from across the UK to pay for non-devolved items like social security benefits and defence.
The projections also assume Scotland’s onshore revenues and spending grow in line with those in the rest of the UK. Lower debt would mean lower debt interest payments and would therefore reduce the budget deficit. In practice, however, if an independent Scotland faced a budget deficit anything like that in our projections, spending cuts or tax rises would be needed to put the public finances on a firmer footing. The oil revenue and public finance forecasts produced by the Scottish Government in the run up to the referendum also look increasingly further away from what is now expected. This might mean we would be revising down projections of the Scottish budget deficit rather than revising them up as has been the case.
As with any economic or fiscal forecast or projection, the projections outlined in this observation are subject to a number of sources of potential error that mean actual outturns will differ. We would expect that equalisation to unwind as further benefit cuts bite and earnings start to rise, such that inequality at the end of the decade is likely to be similar to inequality at the start. That reflects in part some unpicking, but by no means a complete unpicking, of the very big increases in tax credits introduced by the last Labour government. The solid line shows that there has been a considerable equalisation of the income distribution in the years since the recession, with incomes rising for those towards the bottom of the distribution and falling for those towards the top.
First, tax and benefit changes had little effect on pensioners and much bigger effects on those of working age, especially those with children.
Again, pensioners are protected while poorer working age households are hit hard, especially those with children. The sources and distribution of wealth, changes in public service spending and much else besides matters.
Not only were these policies in the Conservative manifesto last year, they were front and centre. Perhaps the biggest bone of contention is how to adjust Scotland’s block grant to reflect the associated transfer of tax revenues and welfare spending to the Scottish Government. As our report last November showed, it seems impossible to design a system that will satisfy all the Smith Commission’s principles. It argues that if Scotland's revenues per capita grow at the same rate as in the rest of the UK, then the Scottish budget should be neither smaller nor larger than if income tax were not devolved and funding remained determined by the Barnett Formula alone. The Barnett Formula increases Scotland’s block grant each year by a population share of increases in comparable spending in rUK.
Thereafter any percentage increase in this BGA as a result of growth in income tax in rUK would be less than the corresponding population-share based increase in Scotland’s Barnett-determined block grant. Under this approach the change in the BGA is given by the population share of the change in comparable aggregate revenues in rUK, not the percentage change. This is because, whilst the Barnett formula continues to give Scotland a population share of rUK spending increases, the LD approach removes a population share of rUK tax increases. Because Scottish revenues per capita are lower than those in rUK, Scottish revenues per capita actually have to grow at a faster percentage rate than those in rUK to keep up with the population-shared based increase in the BGA. The new proposal is based on the LD approach, but takes into account Scotland’s lower initial tax revenues per capita.
First, as discussed above, that the correct counterfactual against which 'detriment' should be assessed should include the Scotland Act 2012 income tax provisions, which do not adjust for differential population growth.
There are also continuing differences about the extent to which Scotland should bear risks associated with differential population change, and whether existing devolution arrangements under the Scotland Act 2012 should influence the choice of BGA indexation. The Nuffield Foundation is an endowed charitable trust that aims to improve social well-being in the widest sense. This week Google has become the latest company to attract widespread anger over the amount of tax it has paid in the UK. This paper is a pre-released chapter from the February 2016 IFS Green Budget, produced in association with ICAEW and funded by the Nuffield Foundation and to be launched on Monday 8th February. Some of those loopholes are well known and many exist in other countries’ tax regimes. The OECD has been seeking to foster collaboration through the BEPS project  to do exactly this.
The full Green Budget 2016 publication will be launched at 10:00 on Monday 8 February 2016 at Guildhall, London.
ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 144,000 chartered accountants worldwide.
Taken together, the amount councils receive in Revenue Support Grant (RSG) and other grants from DCLG are set to fall by 60%. And these revenue sources are expected to grow over the next four years, not least because councils are expected to raise council tax fairly significantly.


It now explicitly takes into account the differing extent to which councils rely on grants, making smaller cuts to the grants of those which rely a lot on the grant than to those councils which are able to raise more of their own revenue from council tax. Looking to the next four years, spending on adult social care is likely to be particularly protected, because some of the grant to authorities is being ring-fenced for this purpose and because councils are being given the ability to raise council tax by an additional 2% a year specifically to fund adult social care. None have done so (although Bedfordshire police tried and failed to win such a referendum on the local police precept). However, it is important to note this will follow a 5-year period when most councils have been freezing their council tax, leaving the average council tax bill a little lower in real-terms in 2019 than in 2010. The government will soon begin consulting on how to fully devolve business rates revenues to councils.
Ireland and Spain are well-known for the severe difficulties they faced but France, Italy and the UK also saw borrowing rise sharply. In other words, had they taken no policy action, they would have ended up borrowing over 5 per cent of GDP more every year forevermore.
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Best Bars With roughly questions to ask yourself before you sign up for a newly smartphone plan. It also draws attention to the relative lack of data on wealth holdings, especially among the very wealthiest.
So it is concerning that HMRC have consulted on discontinuing their publication of statistics on top shares of wealth (derived from data on bequests). Net wealth holdings are also negative for those in each of the next 8 percentiles (that is 9 per cent of households have no positive net wealth).
Unfortunately, the data available do not permit more concrete statements about the extent to which this is the case.
The UK’s rebate on its contributions to the EU budget is perhaps the most famous of the special deals negotiated by a member state but it is far from unique.
Recall though that the total budget is just 1% of GNI so the scale of redistribution is inevitably limited. In fact this is offset by our high employment rates and high population density and a relatively poor track-record of getting European Commission approval for projects to be funded from our structural funds allocation.
The exact basis for their allocation is obscure though – and this is deliberately so. Women and the self-employed are more likely to gain than other groups: we estimate that 61% of women and 55% of those who have been self-employed for more than 10 years will gain under the new system.
Transitional arrangements mean that some people will receive more than this amount and others less. Eight-in-ten of those reaching the state pension age over the next four years will have been contracted out at some point during their lives. Understandably, many individuals have drawn from this that the new state pension is more generous.
This is a simplification and rationalisation of a complex system which has proved fearsomely difficult to reform just because of its complexity. In addition, households that purchase larger amounts of sugar overall tend to buy a higher share of their added sugar as carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks.
In the case of sugar these costs are likely to be most severe for children and for people who consume a lot of sugar. If consumers respond to higher soft drink prices by switching to these alternatives then the impact of the tax on sugar intake may be partially offset. There may also be concerns that some foodstuffs on which the tax would fall provide other important nutrients.
Given that the majority of these revenues would have come from operations in Scottish waters, the impact of these further declines on the Scottish deficit is proportionately much larger than that on the deficit of the UK as a whole.
That is the size of the Scottish deficit on top of its share of the overall UK deficit (which is £850 per person in the UK in the same year).
But if, as the Scottish Government have previously claimed, independence would allow policies to grow the Scottish economy more quickly, such faster growth would tend to push up revenues and reduce Scotland’s deficit. Therefore more problematic is the fact that in its analysis of the potential path of oil revenues, the Scottish Government considers scenarios where the revenues come in higher than the OBR forecasts but does not consider scenarios where revenues come in less than the OBR forecasts. This includes errors in the OBR forecasts for the UK as a whole; and trends in spending and government revenues in Scotland relative to the UK differing from the above assumptions. In this observation we draw on recent IFS work to provide some assessment of what has happened to living standards across the distribution and what has been the direct effect on incomes of tax and benefit policy. The lack of real income growth at the bottom reflects further benefit cuts, while the better performance further up is dependent on real earnings rising as expected by the OBR. Chart 2 shows our projections for what has happened to the median household incomes of three different age groups – those aged 22-30, 31-59 and 60+. Chart 3 shows the percentage gain or loss in income resulting from tax and benefit changes for each income decile from May 2010 to April 2015 split between pensioners, working age people with children and those without children. Second, they have resulted in significant losses for those of working age in the bottom half of the income distribution. Within the narrow remit of tax and benefit policy we have shown before how one of the most important effects of the shift to universal credit (if it ever happens) will be to strengthen work incentives for some of those who currently gain the least from moving into work or earning more.
With another 'deadline' for an agreement looming, this observation aims to explain the proposals put forward by each government, set out their respective rationales, and analyse recent 'compromise' proposals put forward by the UK government. The UK Government instead focuses on the principle of 'taxpayer fairness' which holds that changes in devolved taxes in the rest of the UK should not affect the level of public spending in Scotland after the transfer of tax powers has taken place.
This reflects differing interpretations of the principles included in the Smith Commission report. The Scottish Government argues that the implicit insurance against differences in population growth provided by PCID is fair due to its lack of policy levers to influence the rate of population growth in Scotland relative to rUK. PCID would therefore be relatively more generous than the already agreed mechanisms for the partial devolution of income tax, meaning the Scottish Government would gain relative to existing plans. But the PCID mechanism for updating the BGA is based on percentage changes (not population shares).
Any increase to the Scottish budget coming through Barnett as a result of changes in income tax revenues in rUK is exactly offset by the same increase in the BGA. If Scottish revenues per capita instead grow at the same rate as those in rUK, Scotland’s budget falls relative to what it would have in the absence of devolution.
And second, that it would be unfair for the Scottish Government to be insulated from population-based risk on the revenue side when on the spending side it gains rather than loses from Scotland’s relatively slow population growth (because the Barnett formula does not take account of this slower population growth when allocating funds).
Both governments make arguments that are consistent with (different parts of) the Smith Commission’s principles. It funds research and innovation in education and social policy and also works to build capacity in education, science and social science research. The sense that there are some big, profitable companies paying relatively little in corporate tax has led many to try to allocate blame. In practice, countries have long agreed to divvy up profits according to where the underlying value was created. The UK has already acted to prevent some types of avoidance structures and, going forward, will join other countries in trying to prevent tax avoidance by changing the rules that determine profit allocation.
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Cuts over the next four years, though, will be front loaded, with cuts of around 4% to 5% next year, on average. In the last few years, DCLG effectively cut every council’s grant by the same percentage. In particular, the forecast growth in council tax rates and revenues will do less to offset cuts to grants in areas with small council tax revenues and a high degree of grant reliance than it does in areas with large council tax revenues and a low degree of grant reliance.
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Rosslyn’s jet set consortium loaf offers Thomas More than coloured billiard tables try. These statistics have for decades given us the only, albeit imperfect, window into the wealth of the very richest. There are numerous allowances, rebates, additional allocations and the like negotiated within it.
A number of other countries such as Germany have also negotiated special deals for regions that would usually not qualify under the standard rules. The idea is that by avoiding explicitly spelling out the formulae used, that it is easier for agreement to be reached (otherwise much time may be spent by member states trying to tweak the formulae in ways that benefit them and can attract the support of other influential members). Our analysis suggests that only 17% of those reaching the state pension age over the next four years will receive a state pension worth exactly the single tier amount, while 23% will enjoy a higher income and 61% will receive a lower state pension income. Although these individuals have a relatively low state pension entitlement, in return for contracting out they will have accrued rights in a private pension that are (in expectation) worth at least as much as the state pension forgone. This also represents the culmination of more than 30 years of efforts to remove the earnings-related element of the state pension that was first introduced in 1978.
It would be a shame if such disillusion was to threaten the sustainability of what is on balance a sensible reform. Comparing the top 20% and the bottom 20% of households based on their share of calories from processed added sugar, households that purchase the largest amounts of sugar get around twice as much of their sugar from carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks as households that purchase the lowest amounts of sugar.
Given that these groups get a relatively high share of their sugar from soft drinks the soft drinks industry levy looks to be reasonably well targeted. This reflects new net tax raising measures, and the extension of spending cuts into 2020-21 (as well as shuffling some revenues and spending between years as described in our Post Budget 2016 analysis).
The projected gap then remains at a broadly similar percentage of national income over the following 4 years. But it does not transfer any responsibility for the existing larger gap between revenues and spending in Scotland. The OBR, for instance, has had to revise down its forecasts in 12 out of the 13 times it has updated them. There are some reasons to suggest that, if anything, the assumptions are more likely to lead us to under-estimate rather than over-estimate Scotland’s fiscal deficit relative to that of the UK as a whole. Meanwhile the very highest earners - those on over £100,000 a year - have seen significant tax increases.
Finally the darker dotted line shows our projections for the period as a whole (which also of course depends on earnings rising as projected from now). Chart 4 shows the same thing for the period from May 2015 to April 2019, including announcements in last week’s Budget. That is not surprising as a result of various cuts to working age benefits have taken effect.
Again, households in the upper half of the income distribution (but below the very top) are likely to see little direct impact of tax and benefit changes on their incomes on average, as some benefits cuts and small tax rises are offset by further increases in the income tax personal allowance, and the raising of the higher rate threshold. An accompanying briefing note provides additional information, and a detailed report to be in Edinburgh on 22nd March will give our full assessment on the proposals or agreements as they then stand. This would happen both for revenue increases due to economic growth and tax policy changes. Consistency instead requires a symmetric set of risks on the revenue side as on the spending side, which TCA-LD (but not PCID) would deliver.
However, we can attempt to quantify the effects of the different proposals on Scotland’s budget using ONS population projections for Scotland and rUK, and OBR estimates of long-term revenue growth (Table 1).
The Nuffield Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. They are instead designed to tax that part of a firm’s profit that arises from value created in the UK. Controversy often arises when a firm has a large revenue stream in the UK, but is not deemed to have an associated presence here for tax purposes.
These kinds of gaps in tax systems can create opportunities for tax avoidance on a grand scale. A system that allocates profits as if they were earned by separate companies will always create tensions.
The cuts will also be more evenly spread, rather than hitting poorer authorities harder as happened between 2010 and 2015. Of course, a given percentage cut in grant has a bigger impact on a council if it relies more on that grant for its overall spending.
In other words, it is the fact that the poorer, more grant-dependent areas can do less to increase their budgets by increasing their council tax that means they will still fair a little worse over the next few years than leafier, less grant-dependent places.
This could mean difficult choices for other services like children’s social services, refuse collection, libraries, transport, economic development, planning and housing, some of which have already seen very large cuts.
However, if further cuts to services become too difficult to bear, some councils might hold referendums for bigger council tax rises. A key thing still to be decided is just how much divergence between the revenues of different areas should be allowed before safety net systems kick in. Loose pool tabulate woodwork plans Get the best rated woodworking manoeuver with over 16 wood plans block up stools danish Bodoni woodwork plans desk plans loose kids carpentry Make a customs Billiard.
It matters to households whether they have enough savings to see themselves through retirement and it matters for how they would respond to economic shocks and to fiscal and monetary policy. This is neither straightforward nor sensible as contributions are based on a hypothetical VAT base that no EU member state actually applies. This is, arguably, a very generous bonus to the self-employed, whose lower National Insurance contributions have historically been justified on the grounds that they accrued lower benefit entitlements.
In other words, accrual to the new state pension will be 'flat rate' and it will be much easier for individuals to understand how much an additional year of activity will add to their state pension income entitlement. Taking this into account, an extra year of activity would actually have earned you more in state pension rights under the old system than it will under the new system. The justification for this is unclear and could potentially lead to an increase in small producers offering high sugar products that escape the tax.
It is worth noting though that, along with biscuits and confectionery, soft drinks are among the few foodstuffs that are already subject to VAT. The government have set a specific revenue target, which the OBR has computed as corresponding to a rate of 18 pence per litre for drinks with 5-8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, and a higher rate of 24 pence for drinks with more than 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres. And while the Scottish Government can vary income tax, for instance, to increase or reduce the amounts it raises from these new powers, it cannot adopt a different fiscal stance to that of the UK government (changes in revenues must be balanced by changes in spending). It suggests that we should expect much of the recent fall in inequality to be undone over the next five years, resulting in a similar change in incomes for rich and poor over the whole period since the recession.
Third, those from the middle of the distribution most of the way up (most people on average earnings and above, certainly up to £50,000 or so a year) saw very small changes in income, on average, as a direct result of tax and benefit policy.
And each year more and more income tax from rUK would therefore implicitly be transferred to Scotland.
But in proposing TCA-LD the UK Government has effectively conceded - in practice if not principle - its initial 'taxpayer fairness' argument for favouring the LD approach. For example: if a worker in the UK and a worker in Ireland collaborate in arranging and concluding a sale, or in designing a new product, or writing a piece of software, how much of resulting income should be attributed to UK activities? Rules around this will change following the BEPS process and it will become more difficult for companies to claim that they do not have a permanent establishment, but this can’t change retrospectively. There is literally nothing the UK government can do unilaterally about some of these loopholes. On Thursday, the European Commission announced new proposals that build on the BEPS project and seek further adjustments to EU tax rules to crack down on tax avoidance. We could decide to live with those tensions as best we can, or we could go back to the drawing board and design a tax system based on how the world currently looks. With the additional ability to increase council tax to pay for social care, the average council tax bill for a band D property could rise by £205 a year by April 2019 if these powers are used in full, with the potential for further rises to pay for police and fire authorities. Every additional 1% increase in adult social care spending would require additional cuts to other areas of spending of around 0.5%. Other councils like districts and the Greater London Authority will still only be able to raise rates by 2% a year without a referendum.
And police authorities and fire authorities also levy council tax precepts – increases in either of these would push council tax bills up further. One common theme, unfortunately, is that these fiscal responses to the crisis largely missed opportunities to improve the overall efficiency of the tax system.
A thirty year old semi-invalid of a distinguished English family, she had the rare good luck to ask for the concession to a site that seemed unimportant and a site that no one else wanted.
This carpentry video details the setup Part i of the series where toilet Nixon from Eagle Lake Woodworking builds an humanities and Crafts mode syndicate table. This element remains because of earlier hopes that VAT could be fully harmonised and a source of EU revenue. Of course this has the advantage that, over the longer term, the new single-tier state pension will be cheaper than the system it replaces and therefore the reform strengthens the long-run public finances. In addition, how the major producers and retailers of soft drinks respond will be important. The continued zero rating for VAT purposes of cakes and other sugary foods remains as an effective tax subsidy to their consumption.
This means that, in many cases, the tax per gram of sugar is declining in the amount of sugar per 100 millilitres in a product – see Figure 1. Those of working age still have incomes below pre-crisis levels, with the youngest suffering most, albeit with something of a recent bounce back. Given the scale of the overall austerity measures implemented this group were remarkably well protected from tax and benefit changes.
By taking account of Scotland’s lower initial tax capacity, there would continue to be some redistribution of rUK income tax revenue increases to Scotland in future.
The trouble is that calculating how much profit arises from value added in any individual country can be very tricky, and is often open to honest dispute.
Since the opportunities for avoidance arise at the boundaries between tax systems, a multilateral approach makes sense. For example, we could tax companies based on where their sales occur rather than where their profits are deemed to have arisen. It was assumed that even an woman amateur with no experience could do little harm at the nearly destroyed Temple of Mut, in a remote location south of the Amun precinct at Karnak. This method disadvantages countries in which spending on goods and services that form part of this hypothetical construct constitute a large fraction of national income.
This creates unnecessary anomalies – for instance a 1 litre product that contains 100g of sugar will attract the same amount of tax overall, and only two thirds as much per 100 grams of sugar, as a 1 litre product containing 50% more sugar. Second, the OBR forecasts revenue growth to be particularly strong for taxes like capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duties, which make up a relatively smaller share of Scottish revenues. The strong income performance among the over 60s results from the fact that pensioners were the least affected by falling real earnings, pensioner benefits were mostly protected, and some of the poorest, oldest pensioners  have died and been replaced by a generation with higher state and private pension entitlements.
For this group the increase in the personal allowance and falls in petrol duty largely offset the effects of the big increase in VAT and some benefit cuts on average.
We may not be ready for such radical change yet, but depending on how well the newly patched up international corporate tax system works over the next few years we may find it is worth considering whether a new set of tensions would produce a more agreeable outcome. She worked there for only three seasons from 1895 to 1897 and she published The Temple of Mut in Asher in 1899 2 with Janet Gourlay, who joined her in the second season.
All else equal, this would tend to suggest growth in revenues per person in Scotland would be lower than for the UK as a whole. Remember, though, that the protection of this group does have to be seen in the context of falling real wages which have hit their living standards. Yet the rules can never be detailed enough to set out what the outcome should be in every possible case. In the introduction to that publication of her work she emphasized that it was the first time any woman had been given permission by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities to excavate; she was well aware that it was something of an accomplishment. These tariffs sensibly belong to the EU given that the goods are entering a single EU wide market. Third, while our revenue projections account for declines in oil revenues, our projections assume that GDP from the North Sea rises in line with onshore GDP.
Finally the top decile, and in particular those on the very highest incomes, earning more than £100,000 a year, faced some significant tax increases. Countries are under no obligation to implement them if they think they will damage their own competitiveness. The fact that countries which collect the tariffs get to keep 25% (falling to 20%) as costs of collection, though, seems less reasonable. Indeed, if measures introduced in the final months of the last Labour government were included too, the average loss in the top decile would rise to 6.5% of income, making them the biggest losers over the period. This is why HMRC is often engaged with multinationals about how much tax they pay: not because they are busy cutting special deals, but because they are trying to apply the tax rules in a consistent manner. We were frankly warned that we should make no discoveries; indeed if any had been anticipated, it was unlikely that the clearance would have been entrusted to inexperienced direction. 3 A Margaret Benson was born June 16, 1865, one of the six children of Edward White Benson.
He was first an assistant master at Rugby, then the first headmaster of the newly founded Wellington College.He rose in the service of the church as Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, Bishop of Truro and, finally, Archbishop of Canterbury. Benson was a learned man with a wide knowledge of history and a serious concern for the education of the young. He was also something of a poet and one of his hymns is still included in the American Episcopal Hymnal.
Arthur Christopher, the eldest, was first a master at Eton and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge. A noted author and poet with an enormous literary output, he published over fifty books, most of an inspirational nature, but he was also the author of monographs on D. He helped to edit the correspondence of Queen Victoria for publication, contributed poetry to The Yellow Book, and wrote the words to the anthem "Land of Hope and Glory". Most important to the study of the excavator of the Mut Temple, he was the author of The Life and Letters of Maggie Benson, 4 a sympathetic biography which helps to shed some light on her short archaeological career.
He also wrote several reminiscences of his family in which he included his sister and described his involvement in her excavations.


He helped to supervise part of the work and he prepared the plan of the temple which was used in her eventual publication.
His younger brother, Robert Hugh Benson, took Holy Orders in the Church of England, later converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in that rite.
He also achieved some fame as a novelist and poet and rose to the position of Papal Chamberlain. Her publication of the excavation is cited in every reference to theTemple of Mut in the Egyptological literature, but she is known to history as a name in a footnote and little else.A Margaret Benson was born at Wellington College during her father's tenure as headmaster. Each career advancement for him meant a move for the family so her childhood was spent in a series of official residences until she went to Oxford in 1883. She was eighteen when she was enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a women's college founded only four years before. One of her tutors commented to his sister that he was sorry Margaret had not been able to read for "Greats" in the normal way.
5 When she took a first in the Women's Honours School of Philosophy, he said, "No one will realize how brilliantly she has done." 6 Since her work was not compared to that of her male contemporaries, it would have escaped noticed.
In her studies she concentrated on political economy and moral sciences but she was also active in many aspects of the college. She participated in dramatics, debating and sports but her outstanding talent was for drawing and painting in watercolor. Her skill was so superior he thought she should be appointed drawing mistress if she remained at Lady Margaret Hall for any length of time. She began a work titled "The Venture of Rational Faith" which occupied her thoughts for many years.
From the titles alone they suggest a young woman who was deeply concerned with problems of society and the spirit and this preoccupation with the spiritual was to be one of her concerns throughout the rest of her life. In some of her letters from Egypt it is clear that she was attempting to understand something of the spiritual life of the ancient Egyptians, not a surprising interest for the daughter of a churchman like Edward White Benson. A In 1885, at the age of twenty, Margaret was taken ill with scarlet fever while at Zermatt in Switzerland.
By the time she was twenty-five she had developed the symptoms of rheumatism and the beginnings of arthritis. She made her first voyage to Egypt in 1894 because the warm climate was considered to be beneficial for those who suffered from her ailments. Wintering in Egypt was highly recommended at the time for a wide range of illnesses ranging from simple asthma to "mental strain." Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter's sponsor in the search for the tomb of Tutankhamun, was one of the many who went to Egypt for reasons of health. After Cairo and Giza she went on by stages as far as Aswan and the island temples of Philae.
She commented on the "wonderful calm" of the Great Sphinx, the physical beauty of the Nubians, the color of the stone at Philae, the descent of the cataract by boat, which she said was "not at all dangerous". By the end of January she was established in Luxor with a program of visits to the monuments set out. I don't feel as if I should have really had an idea of Egypt at all if I hadn't stayed here -- the Bas-reliefs of kings in chariots are only now beginning to look individual instead of made on a pattern, and the immensity of the whole thing is beginning to dawn -- and the colours, oh my goodness! The ancient language and script she found fascinating but she was not as interested in reading classical Arabic.
Her interest was maintained by the variety of animal and bird life for at home in England she had been surrounded by domestic animals and had always been keen on keeping pets. By the time her first stay ended in March, 1894, she had already resolved to return in the fall. When Margaret returned to Egypt in November she had already conceived the idea of excavating a site and thus applied to the Egyptian authorities. Edouard Naville, the Swiss Egyptologist who was working at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Dier el Bahri for the Egypt Exploration Fund, wrote to Henri de Morgan, Director of the Department of Antiquities, on her behalf. From her letters of the time, it is clear that this was one of the most exciting moments of Margaret Benson's life because she was allowed to embark on what she considered a great adventure.
A Margaret's physical condition at the beginning of the excavation was of great concern to the family. A Margaret Benson had no particular training to qualify or prepare her for the job but what she lacked in experience she more than made up for with her "enthusiastic personality" and her intellectual curiosity.
In the preface to The Temple of Mut in Asher she said that she had no intention of publishing the work because she had been warned that there was little to find. In the introduction to The Temple of Mut in Asher acknowledgments were made and gratitude was offered to a number of people who aided in the work in various ways.
The professional Egyptologists and archaeologists included Naville, Petrie, de Morgan, Brugsch, Borchardt, Daressy, Hogarth and especially Percy Newberry who translated the inscriptions on all of the statues found.
Lea), 10 a Colonel Esdaile, 11 and Margaret's brother, Fred, helped in the supervision of the work in one or more seasons. A It is usually assumed that Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay worked only as amateurs, with little direction and totally inexperienced help.
It is clear from the publication that Naville helped to set up the excavation and helped to plan the work. Hogarth 12 gave advice in the direction of the digging and Newberry was singled out for his advice, suggestions and correction as well as "unwearied kindness." Margaret's brother, Fred, helped his inexperienced sister by supervising some of the work as well as making a measured plan of the temple which is reproduced in the publication. Benson) was qualified to help because he had intended to pursue archaeology as a career, studied Classical Languages and archaeology at Cambridge, and was awarded a scholarship at King's College on the basis of his work. He organized a small excavation at Chester to search for Roman legionary tomb stones built into the town wall and the results of his efforts were noticed favorably by Theodore Mommsen, the great nineteenth century classicist, and by Mr. Benson went on to excavate at Megalopolis in Greece for the British School at Athens and published the result of his work in the Journal of Hellenic Studies.
His first love was Greece and its antiquities and it is probable that concern for his sister's health was a more important reason for him joining the excavation than an interest in the antiquities of Egypt. 13A It is interesting to speculate as to why a Victorian woman was drawn to the Temple of Mut. The precinct of the goddess who was the consort of Amun, titled "Lady of Heaven", and "Mistress of all the Gods", is a compelling site and was certainly in need of further exploration in Margaret's time. Its isolation and the arrangement with the Temple of Mut enclosed on three sides by its own sacred lake made it seem even more romantic. 14 When she began the excavation three days was considered enough time to "do" the monuments of Luxor and Margaret said that few people could be expected to spend even a half hour at in the Precinct of Mut. A On her first visit to Egypt in 1894 she had gone to see the temple because she had heard about the granite statues with cats' heads (the lion-headed images of Sakhmet). The donkey-boys knew how to find the temple but it was not considered a "usual excursion" and after her early visits to the site she said that "The temple itself was much destroyed, and the broken walls so far buried, that one could not trace the plan of more than the outer court and a few small chambers". 15 The Precinct of the Goddess Mut is an extensive field of ruins about twenty-two acres in size, of which Margaret had chosen to excavate only the central structure.
Connected to the southernmost pylons of the larger Amun Temple of Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, the Mut precinct contains three major temples and a number of smaller structures in various stages of dilapidation. She noted some of these details in her initial description of the site, but in three short seasons she was only able to work inside the Mut Temple proper and she cleared little of its exterior.
Serious study of the temple complex was started at least as early as the expedition of Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century when artists and engineers attached to the military corps measured the ruins and made drawings of some of the statues.
During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the great age of the treasure hunters in Egypt, Giovanni Belzoni carried away many of the lion-headed statues and pieces of sculpture to European museums. Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphs, and Karl Lepsius, the pioneer German Egyptologist, both visited the precinct, copied inscriptions and made maps of the remains.16 August Mariette had excavated there and believed that he had exhausted the site.
Most of the travelers and scholars who had visited the precinct or carried out work there left some notes or sketches of what they saw and these were useful as references for the new excavation.
Since some of the early sources on the site are quoted in her publication, Margaret was obviously aware of their existence.
17A On her return to Egypt at the end of November, 1894, she stopped at Mena House hotel at Giza and for a short time at Helwan, south of Cairo. Helwan was known for its sulphur springs and from about 1880 it had become a popular health resort, particularly suited for the treatment of the sorts of maladies from which Margaret suffered.
People at every turn asked if she remembered them and her donkey-boy almost wept to see her. A "On January 1st, 1895, we began the excavation" -- with a crew composed of four men, sixteen boys (to carry away the earth), an overseer, a night guardian and a water carrier.
The largest the work gang would be in the three seasons of excavation was sixteen or seventeen men and eighty boys, still a sizable number. Before the work started Naville came to "interview our overseer and show us how to determine the course of the work". A A good part of Margaret's time was occupied with learning how to supervise the workmen and the basket boys. Since her spoken Arabic was almost nonexistent, she had to use a donkey-boy as a translator.
It would have been helpful if she had had the opportunity to work on an excavation conducted by a professional and profit from the experience but she was eager to learn and had generally good advice at her disposal so she proceeded in an orderly manner and began to clear the temple. On the second of January she wrote to her mother: "I don't think much will be found of little things, only walls, bases of pillars, and possibly Cat-statues. I shall feel rather like --'Massa in the shade would lay While we poor niggers toiled all day' -- for I am to have a responsible overseer, and my chief duty apparently will be paying.
18A She is described as riding out from the Luxor Hotel on donkey-back with bags of piaster pieces jingling for the Saturday payday.
She had been warned to pay each man and boy personally rather than through the overseer to reduce the chances of wages disappearing into the hands of intermediaries. The workmen believed that she was at least a princess and they wanted to know if her father lived in the same village as the Queen of England.
When they sang their impromptu work songs (as Egyptian workmen still do) they called Margaret the "Princess" and her brother Fred the "Khedive".
A PART II: THE EXCAVATIONSA The clearance was begun in the northern, outer, court of the temple where Mariette had certainly worked. Earth was banked to the north side of the court, against the back of the ruined first pylon but on the south it had been dug out even below the level of the pavement. Mariette's map is inaccurate in a number of respects suggesting that he was not able to expose enough of the main walls. At the first (northern) gate it was necessary for Margaret Benson to clear ten or twelve feet of earth to reach the paving stones at the bottom.
In the process they found what were described as fallen roofing blocks, a lion-headed statue lying across and blocking the way, and also a small sandstone head of a hippopotamus. In the clearance of the court the bases of four pairs of columns were found, not five as on Mariette's map.
After working around the west half of the first court and disengaging eight Sakhmet statues in the process, they came on their first important find. Near the west wall of the court, was discovered a block statue of a man named Amenemhet, a royal scribe of the time of Amenhotep II. The statue is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo 19 but Margaret was given a cast of it to take home to England.
When it was discovered she wrote to her father: A My Dearest Papa, We have had such a splendid find at the Temple of Mut that I must write to tell you about it.
We were just going out there on Monday, when we met one of our boys who works there running to tell us that they had found a statue. When we got there they were washing it, and it proved to be a black granite figure about two feet high, knees up to its chin, hands crossed on them, one hand holding a lotus. 20A The government had appointed an overseer who spent his time watching the excavation for just such finds. He reported it to a sub-inspector who immediately took the block statue away to a store house and locked it up. He said it was hard that Margaret should not have "la jouissance de la statue que vous avez trouve" and she was allowed to take it to the hotel where she could enjoy it until the end of the season when it would become the property of the museum. The statue had been found on the pavement level, apparently in situ, suggesting to the excavator that this was good evidence for an earlier dating for the temple than was generally believed at the time. The presence of a statue on the floor of a temple does not necessarily date the temple, but many contemporary Egyptologists might have come to the same conclusion.
One visitor to the site recalled that a party of American tourists were perplexed when Margaret was pointed out to them as the director of the dig. At that moment she and a friend were sitting on the ground quarreling about who could build the best sand castle. This was probably not the picture of an "important" English Egyptologist that the Americans had expected. A As work was continued in the first court other broken statues of Sakhmet were found as well as two seated sandstone baboons of the time of Ramesses III.
21 The baboons went to the museum in Cairo, a fragment of a limestone stela was eventually consigned to a store house in Luxor and the upper part of a female figure was left in the precinct where it was recently rediscovered. The small objects found in the season of 1895 included a few coins, a terra cotta of a reclining "princess", some beads, Roman pots and broken bits of bronze. Time was spent repositioning Sakhmet statues which appeared to be out of place based on what was perceived as a pattern for their arrangement. Even if they were correct they could not be sure that they were reconstructing the original ancient placement of the statues in the temple or some modification of the original design. In the spirit of neatness and attempting to leave the precinct in good order, they also repaired some of the statues with the aid of an Italian plasterer, hired especially for that purpose. A Margaret was often bed ridden by her illnesses and she was subject to fits of depression as well but she and her brother Fred would while away the evenings playing impromptu parlor games.
For a fancy dress ball at the Luxor Hotel she appeared costumed as the goddess Mut, wearing a vulture headdress which Naville praised for its ingenuity. The resources in the souk of Luxor for fancy dress were nonexistent but Margaret was resourceful enough to find material with which to fabricate a costume based, as she said, on "Old Egyptian pictures." A The results of the first season would have been gratifying for any excavator.
In a short five weeks the "English Lady" had begun to clear the temple and to note the errors on the older plans available to her.
She had started a program of reconstruction with the idea of preserving some of the statues of Sakhmet littering the site.
She had found one statue of great importance and the torso of another which did not seem so significant to her. Her original intention of digging in a picturesque place where she had been told there was nothing much to be found was beginning to produce unexpected results.A The Benson party arrived in Egypt for the second season early in January of 1896. After a trip down to, they reached Luxor Aswan around the twenty-sixth and the work began on the thirtieth. That day Margaret was introduced to Janet Gourlay who had come to assist with the excavation. The beginning of the long relationship between "Maggie" Benson and "Nettie" Gourlay was not signaled with any particular importance. By May of the same year she was to write (also to her mother): "I like her more and more -- I haven't liked anyone so well in years". Miss Benson and Miss Gourlay seemed to work together very well and to share similar reactions and feelings.
They were to remain close friends for much of Margaret's life, visiting and travelling together often.
Their correspondence reflects a deep mutual sympathy and Janet was apparently much on Margaret's mind because she often mentioned her friend in writing to others. After her relationship with Margaret Benson she faded into obscurity and even her family has been difficult to trace, although a sister was located a few years ago. A For the second season in 1896 the work staff was a little larger, with eight to twelve men, twenty-four to thirty-six boys, a rais (overseer), guardians and the necessary water carrier. With the first court considered cleared in the previous season, work was begun at the gate way between the first and second courts. An investigation was made of the ruined wall between these two courts and the conclusion was drawn that it was "a composite structure" suggesting that part of the wall was of a later date than the rest. The wall east of the gate opening is of stone and clearly of at least two building periods while the west side has a mud brick core faced on the south with stone. Margaret thought the west half of the wall to be completely destroyed because it was of mud brick which had never been replaced by stone. She found the remains of "more than one row of hollow pots" which she thought had been used as "air bricks" in some later rebuilding. Originally built of mud brick, like many of the structures in the Precinct of Mut, the south face of both halves of the wall was sheathed with stone one course thick no later than the Ramesside Period. During the Ptolemaic Period the core of the east half of the mud brick wall was replaced with stone but the Ramesside sheathing was retained. Here the untrained excavator was beginning to understand some of the problems of clearing a temple structure in Egypt. Mariette's plan of the second chamber probably seemed accurate after a superficial examination so a complete clearing seemed unnecessary. Other fragments were found and the original height of the seated statue was estimated between fourteen and sixteen feet high.
The following year de Morgan, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities, ordered the head sent to the museum in Cairo The finding of the large lion head is mentioned in a letter from Margaret to her mother dated February 9, 1896, 22. In the same letter she also mentions the discovery of a statue of Ramesses II on the day before the letter was written. 23.Her published letters often give exact or close dates of discoveries whereas her later publication in the Temple of Mut in Asher was an attempt at a narrative of the work in some order of progression through the temple and dates are often lacking. About the same time that the giant lion head was found some effort was made to raise a large cornerstone block but a crowbar was bent and a rope was broken. The end result of the activity is not explained at that point and the location of the corner not given but it can probably be identified with the southeast cornerstone of the Mut Temple mentioned later in a description of the search for foundation deposits. A Somewhere near the central axis of the second court, but just inside the gateway, they came on the upper half of a royal statue with nemes headdress and the remains of a false beard. There had been inscriptions on the shoulder and back pillar but these had been methodically erased. The lower half was found a little later and it was possible to reconstruct an over life-sized, nearly complete, seated statue of a king. The excavators published it as "possibly" Tutankhamun, an identification not accepted today, and it is still to be seen, sitting to the east of the gateway, facing into the second court.24 A large statue of Sakhmet was also found, not as large as the colossal head, but larger than the other figures still in the precinct and in most Egyptian collections. It was also reconstructed and left in place, on the west side of the doorway where it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the temple.
In the clearance of the second court a feature described as a thin wall built out from the north wall was found in the northeast corner. It was later interpreted by the nineteenth century excavators as part of the arrangement for a raised cloister and it was not until recent excavation that it was identified as the lower part of the wall of a small chapel, built against the north wall of the court. The process of determining any sequence of the levels in the second court was complicated by the fact that it had been worked over by earlier treasure hunters and archaeologists.
In some cases statues were found below the original floor level, leading to the assumption that some pieces had fallen, broken the pavement, and sunk into the floor of their own weight.
It is more probable that the stone floors had been dug out and undermined in the search for antiquities.
A An attempt was made to put the area in order for future visitors as the excavation progressed. This included the reconstruction of some of the statues as found and the moving of others in a general attempt to neaten the appearance of the temple.
Other finds made in the second court included inscribed blocks too large to move or reused in parts of walls still standing.
The statue identified as Ramesses II, mentioned in Margaret's letter of February 9, was found on the southwest side of the court, near the center. It was a seated figure in pink granite, rather large in size, but when it was completely uncovered it was found to be broken through the middle with the lower half in an advanced state of disintegration.
The upper part was in relatively good condition except for the left shoulder and arm and it was eventually awarded to the excavators. A Mention was also made of several small finds from the second court including a head of a god in black stone and part of the vulture headdress from a statue of a goddess or a queen. The recent ongoing excavations carried out by the Brooklyn Museum have revealed a female head with traces of a vulture headdress as well as a number of fragments of legs and feet which suggest that the head of the god found by Margaret Benson was from a pair statue representing Amun and Mut. Another important discovery she made on the south side of the court was a series of sandstone relief blocks representing the arrival at Thebes of Nitocris, daughter of Psamtik I, as God's Wife of Amun.25A At some time during the season Margaret was made aware of the possibility that foundation deposits might still be in place. These dedicatory deposits were put down at the time of the founding of a structure or at a time of a major rebuilding, and they are often found under the cornerstones, the thresholds or under major walls, usually in the center.
They contain a number of small objects including containers for food offerings, model tools and model bricks or plaques inscribed with the name of the ruler. The importance of finding such a deposit in the Temple of Mut was obvious to Margaret because it would prove to everyone's satisfaction who had built the temple, or at least who had made additions to it. A They first looked for foundation deposits in the middle of the gateway between the first and second courts.
At the same time another part of the crew was clearing the innermost rooms in the south part of the temple. Under the central of the three chambers they discovered a subterranean crypt with an entrance so small that it had to be excavated by "a small boy with a trowel". This chamber has been re-cleared in recent years and proved to be a small rectangular room with traces of an erased one-line text around the four walls. In antiquity the access seems to have been hidden by a paving stone which had to be lifted each time the room was entered.
A The search for foundation deposits continued in the southeast corner of the temple (probably the place where the crowbar was bent and the rope broken).
Again no deposit was found but in digging around the cornerstone, below the original ground level, they began to find statues and fragments of statues. As the earth continued to yield more and more pieces of sculpture, Legrain arrived from the Amun Temple, where he was supervising the excavation, and announced his intention to take everything away to the storehouse. Aside from the pleasure of the find, it was important to have the objects at hand for study, comparison and the copying of inscriptions.



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