Briefing: five more years of historic high tax burden

  • The 49-year high tax burden estimate for 2018-19 has increased from 34.3 to 34.6 per cent of GDP.

  • Treasury plans keep Britain’s historic-high tax burden at 49-year high plateau for next five years.

  • Overall government revenues this year are at a 32-year high, at 37 per cent of GDP.

This year, the government expects to raise £787 billion in total, equivalent to approximately £29,000 per household.
These receipts will partly finance its £813 billion of spending, leaving a deficit of £26 billion. Some of the receipts are interest payments, dividends and profits from trading activities, but most are taxes.

In July, the TaxPayers’ Alliance published a briefing revealing that the tax burden this year is the highest since 1969-70, at 34.3 per cent of GDP. The October budget, however, revealed that the tax burden is now expected to be 34.6 per cent of GDP. And while previously it was forecast to fall slightly from 34.3 to 34.1 per cent by 2022-23, the government now plans for it to remain at 34.6 per cent in 2023-24. The tax burden will be higher in each of the next five years than in any year between 1969-70 and 2018-19.



Use our interactive spreadsheet to assume the role of the chancellor and choose which taxes to cut/abolish

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