Briefing: the tax burden following the October 2021 budget

  • Next year, the share of GDP extracted in tax – the ‘tax burden’ – will reach its highest level in 53 years at 35.0 per cent of GDP.

  • The previous high was a one-year spike in 1969-70. Smoothing out volatility with five-year averages shows the tax burden next year at its highest sustained level since 1951, the highest level in 71 years.

  • HM Treasury plans raise Britain’s historic-high sustained tax burden even higher over the next five years.

  • Next year, total receipts will hit a 38-year high at 38.8 per cent of GDP. The five-year average of total receipts is this year at a 36-year high, at 37.8 per cent of GDP.

  • Every post-war British prime minister has left office with a lower tax burden than Boris Johnson plans for 2024-25.

  • The average tax burden under Boris Johnson will be higher than every post-war prime minister since Clement Attlee.



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