Mar 2011 17

Jo Johnson writes in today’s Financial Times (£) about the disaster of high taxes in the United Kingdom. He points to a KPMG survey that showed the UK has the 4th highest top rate of income tax of 86 countries – beaten only by Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. Johnson also mentions a World Economic Global Competitiveness Report – which looks at the tax system to assess incentives to work and invest – that placed the UK 95th out of 135 countries. Our tax system hinders competitiveness.

Interestingly, he notes that Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary to the Treasury, disclosed that 63,000 out of 275,000 taxpayers liable for the top rate work in “financial intermediation” in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee. Many of the others, Johnson notes, are entrepreneurs we need to create jobs and help drive the recovery. Unsurprisingly, numbers from the Treasury finally confirm the tax politically deployed to sate public anger of ‘bankers’ is misguided.

Benedict Brogan at the Telegraph notes that George Osborne might “put down a marker” on the 50p rate at the Budget next week. It should make for interesting viewing.

John is the Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, overseeing the work of the research, grassroots, campaign and media teams

  • Gold Bug

    Who in their right mind would come to Britain if they had a choice of going to lighter taxed and less regulated countries? Answer – Only those that come for the benefit system.
    All we have is bad weather, hoards of do-gooding bureaucrats wanting to lighten your wallet and massive taxation.

    • Anonymous

      I quite like Britain’s weather.

      However – you’re entirely correct. Our tax system penalises hard work and effort. We should radically reconsider our approach to welfare, going so far as to give the unemployed a job instead of money.

      • Foolsgold Gordo

        Well there is plenty to do, streets need sweeping and litter picking up. Hedges need trimming and old folks gardens need tidying. Those on community service can do it at the weekend and in the evenings as well!

  • Anonymous

    We have a choice, direct tax or indirect tax.
    Direct tax is much fairer, in that the more you earn the more you pay.
    Indirect tax means that no matter how much you earn you pay the same tax.

    • Foolsgold Gordo

      Direct tax doesn’t work for wayne rooney’s £250k/week does it. 50p rate doesn’t apply to him, he only pays 2%. For the rest of us it is like earning £600k/week when you are subsidised by the other tax payers. That’s a wonderful fiddle when even waiters are assessed for measley tips.

      • chaswin

        It’s about time that the Government made such people pay their fair share of tax. ALL money earned in this country should be taxed accordingly.

  • Chris

    I agree. The UK has become a sterile country, institutionalised, and not that much fun. If you have the means, or you can create the means, it is much more fun to live somewhere like Singapore, Cordoba in Argentina, Bangkok. Great climates, great food, great street life, courteous people, beautiful beeches. I m a private trader/investor and aim to stay outside the Uk more than 9 months a year and pay no tax.