Two students scoop £10k each, in PwC’s student competition for best ideas on UK tax reform

Published at 09:46 AM on 12 February 2015

A tax system that empowers regional cities and encourages businesses to invest in people will boost employment and drive the UK economy – according to the winning essays of a major student tax competition.

The two winning students, Richard Cha and Jamie Parker, both from the University of Cambridge, each walked away with a £10,000 prize, as an esteemed panel of judges decided that both entries were equally deserving of the prize.

The competition, the biggest of its kind, asked students how they would change the tax system to improve future employment prospects and drive the economy. It's part of the firm’s Paying for Tomorrow campaign on how the UK tax system must adapt for the future and the increasing demands that will come for tax revenues.

Judges including Linda Bennett, founder of LK Bennett and Professor Tim Besley, school professor of economics and political science at the London School of Economics, were unanimous in their decision.

Richard’s essay made the case for a decentralised tax system, with the devolution of tax and spending powers to cities. It argued that to drive the modern UK economy, a competitive country and not just a single competitive city is essential.

Jamie’s essay outlined a range of ideas for making the tax system fit for the 21st century, including greater decentralisation of taxes, and establishing a more explicit link between businesses that invest in human capital and the rates they pay in taxation.

Kevin Nicholson, head of tax at PwC, said:

"With momentum building around tax reform, we wanted to hear the views of the younger generation - the people who'll live longest with the consequences of the policies put in place now.

"There were lots of great ideas across the entries, but the judges felt the winning two presented the most cohesive arguments. We'll be feeding the suggestions into our research on tax reform, with the outcomes published next month."

Two runners up each received a £1,000 prize. They were Moira Chadwick, from University College London and Ryan Gwinnett from the University of York.


Notes to editor


The judges were:

Sir Michael Rake, President of the CBI

Linda Bennett, Designer and Entrepreneur

Vanessa Houlder, FT journalist

Timothy Besley, School Professor of Economics and Political Science at LSE

Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser to PwC


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