Andy Silvester responds to The Economist

April 10, 2015 9:09 AM

Our Campaign Director, Andy Silvester, recently had a letter published in The Economist responding to a budget response entitled "Bust to Boom".

You suggested (“Bust to boom”, March 21st) that people will benefit from the British government’s decision to raise the amount they can earn before paying income tax to £11,000 ($16,300) by 2017-18. This is a welcome move, though very few are taken out of paying tax altogether, merely out of paying income tax. Most egregiously, workers’ National Insurance is payable at 12% on earnings of around £8,000 a year; this is an earnings tax in all but name. Revenues from both taxes go into the same pot, so the linguistic gymnastics are unnecessary.  Whoever has the keys to 11 Downing Street after the election on May 7th should merge NI into income tax. Eliminating the difference between the thresholds in this way would not only cut tax for the lowest paid but inject a much-needed dose of honesty into Britain’s tax-and-spend debate.

You can read all letters to the editor here.

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