Relentless campaigning in 2020 by the TaxPayers’ Alliance has resulted in many fantastic policy victories; from the abolition of Public Health England, reducing the foreign aid budget, freezing MPs’ pay and uncovering £5.6 billion of government waste as part of a special investigation with the Daily Mail. Although these wins are a massive boon to taxpayers, the UK still has the highest tax burden in 50 years. Our economy is begging for lower, simpler taxes. There is still work to be done.
In the spirit of Christmas, we have put together a wish list of changes desperately needed to reform the UK’s bloated tax code. We hope that 2021 will be the year Britain can unleash its entrepreneurial potential, boost employment and reduce the burdens on workers. Our team will be fighting hard to make these wishes come true.
Abolish employers’ and employees’ national insurance contributions (NICs)
Now more than ever, Britain needs a boom in jobs. The government must reduce burdens on employers, allowing them to hire more easily and expand their businesses.
The government has increased the NIC threshold to £9,500 this April with the ambition of extending to £12,500 in the future. However, Boris should have done more by raising the threshold to £12,500 without delay, aligning it with the current personal allowance level to simplify and streamline the tax code.
But Britain should go further in these extraordinary times and abolish both employers’ and employees’ NICs so both workers and business owners keep more of their own money and use it as they see fit.
Raise the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 permanently
Some covid economic policies have temporarily given much needed relief to taxpayers. But we’re calling on the government to permanently raise the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 after the 31st March 2021. Our expert analysis revealed that doing so could unlock 216,000 house moves, equivalent to the total housing stock of the city of Manchester. We are already campaigning hard to get this policy win: sign our petition here.
Abolish the death tax
Inheritance tax is a deeply unpopular tax. The tax is egregiously levied on money that has already been taxed by HMRC. It is also a cruel punishment for bereaving families. When they are receiving sympathy cards from loved ones, the tax man sends them a hefty bill.
Canada, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have long-since abolished the death tax. So, too, have Australia, New Zealand, Israel, India, Luxembourg, and more. Those countries realise that tax after death is a massive overstep of government. Not only would ending the death tax be a vote winner, it is also the moral thing to do.
Abolish the BBC licence fee
For too long, Britons have been forced to pay the anachronistic “TV tax” only to be bombarded with woke nonsense delivered by overpaid zealous presenters. Over 90 per cent of people we surveyed said the licence fee, currently £157.50, does not offer value for money. It’s no wonder they feel this way - this Christmas will see yet another year of reheated repeats on BBC channels.
With drastic technological change and the myriad of ways in which people watch the media, the Beeb’s funding model is not fit for the 21st century. Support our campaign to Axe the Tax.
Cut insurance premium tax (IPT)
Insurance premium tax is a tax on general insurance premiums. The tax is levied on travel insurance and even some vehicle insurance with the standard rate set at 12 per cent and the higher rate at 20 per cent. Not only do increased rates raise the cost of holidays and other goods, but it also threatens to reduce the take-up of insurance policies and disproportionately inflicts sectors with a high payout rate. How is it fair that responsible people are taxed for doing the right thing? It's time to fundamentally reform IPT and stop punishing responsible drivers and holiday makers.
Cut beer duty
Lockdown measures have closed thousands of pubs up and down the country. Many fear it’s last orders forever. Pubs need all the help they can get. Cutting beer duty would be a good start. The UK has one of the highest beer tax rates in Europe - three times the EU average. Without a decent cut in beer duty, pubs will struggle to retain staff and open their doors to punters. When George Osborne cut beer duty by 1p in 2013, our research showed that it spurred huge growth in investments and jobs in the beer industry - with breweries alone investing £325 million. Let’s cut beer duty and open up our Great British pubs once again!