We can today reveal that the Coalition Government has raised taxes more than twice as often as it has cut them. In the first analysis of its kind, this Government is shown to have implemented or planned 299 separate tax rises but only 119 separate tax cuts. This means that the Coalition has been responsible for 180 more tax rises than tax cuts since it came to power.
This forensic study of Treasury and HMRC documents looks at how many different tax reliefs, allowances and rates the Government has changed, along with the number of new taxes that have been levied or abolished during its time in office. In 2009-10, the last year of the previous government, £513 billion was paid in taxes (or £549 billion at 2012-13 prices). By 2015-16, the Government plans to increase that amount to £671 billion (£633 billion at 2012-13 prices), a real terms rise of 15 per cent.
The key findings of this research are:
A total of 299 separate tax rises have either already been implemented or are planned before May 2015.
A total of 119 separate tax cuts have either already been implemented or are planned before May 2015.
A full methodology is included in the report.
This summary table lists the number of tax-raising and tax-cutting measures implemented since May 2010 or planned for implementation, by tax type. Click the image to embiggen:
Rochdale Council is planning to increase Council Tax in 2013-14 by 3.5 per cent. It is refusing to let residents decide in a local referendum if they approve or disapprove of this rise. As I wrote last week, Rochdale is not the only Greater Manchester authority to act in this way and we are holding a protest in Manchester City Centre on 16 February to oppose these rises.
It was revealed earlier this month that Rochdale Council has paid the Town Centre Management Company over £700,000 on the past three years. Tens of thousands of this money has been paid to so-called celebrities for their services. One example is a payment made to celebrity chef, Levi Roots. He managed to turn up late, give a short speech, and was paid £7,000 plus expenses for his trouble. Continue Reading
Responding to the announcement, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said :
”The Government is deluding itself if it thinks spending vast sums of taxpayers’ money on this white elephant is a substitute for a genuine plan for growth. The HS2 business case just isn’t credible and ministers aren’t being honest about the hidden costs or flawed projections that the project is based on. This is a rich man’s train line which every family in Britain is paying a fortune for. It beggars belief that after the West Coast Main Line debacle and the repeated exposures of the fundamental flaws in HS2, the Prime Minister hasn’t reconsidered the project. The Government must look to strategic alternatives that could deliver greater capacity more quickly and without the enormous bill.”
Commenting on today’s announcement that the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“The fact that our economy is shrinking is a further sign that the Government has failed to get to grips with the economic crisis. Taxes are far too high and needlessly complicated, while business remains strangled by red tape, despite promises of reform.
“Meanwhile, the Coalition continues to increase spending which is already unsustainably high. Ministers need to take bold steps to cut spending and taxes in order to stimulate the economy and produce the growth that eludes them. Our unstable, overly complex tax code deters investors and places a heavy burden on families and businesses alike. Until George Osborne undertakes genuine tax reform and eases the pressure on taxpayers, the economic outlook will remain grim.”
Getting back to basics is what one lone campaigner in Swanage, Dorset, is calling for. As councillors spend taxpayers’ money on fact-finding jollies to far flung parts of the world, it is good to be reminded that what we expect for our money is simple, basic services, like filling in potholes. In Swanage, our hero has gone round the town circling holes in roads with white paint and adding a tag saying ‘Fix me’!
Dorset County Council has, needless to say, taken a stern view of this. ‘We have found several potholes in Swanage that have been marked in this way,’ says a council employed maintenance manager, ‘and anyone caught doing it could be prosecuted. It’s important to note that the roads in Swanage are in no worse state than the rest of the county or the country.’ Continue Reading