Trading places: How ONS measures cross-border services

ONS has embarked on an ambitious development programme to make sure we have the best possible data on the flow of imports and exports. While measuring trade in goods is relatively straightforward, tracking services is rather trickier. Here Sami Hamroush writes about the challenge of measuring so-called ‘modes of supply’ – the means by which services are exchanged across borders – and how this can reveal a sharper picture of the UK’s trade position.

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New public policy analysis quarterly review published: The year so far

New insights on the scale of childhood bereavement, the jobs at risk of automation and how inequality is affecting life expectancy have all come from ONS Public Policy Analysis this year. Following the publishing of the second edition of our quarterly review, Liz McKeown looks back on some of these findings and discusses how you can also input to this review.

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Taxing decisions: How the ONS tells the difference between taxes and fees – and why it matters

As well as the money it raises in direct and indirect taxation, the Government receives income from providing services for its citizens. Company registrations, passport and driving licence applications are all examples of fees charged by government bodies.  But when does a charge levied on the public stop being a “fee” and become a tax instead? David Beckett explains the criteria the ONS uses to make that decision and why that determines how the money can be used. 

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