We've new research out today revealing the £283 tax bill facing the average family this Christmas - higher than ever before.
Many ordinary families are tightening their belts but with tax on most of the contents of their shopping basket Chancellor Osborne is still demanding his share, stealing away that Christmas cheer with taxes on all things festive.
With budgets tight, this will be a Christmas without all the trimmings.
The cost of Christmas:
- British families will pay an average £283 tax on their festive spending.
- The total Christmas tax bill will come to £7.2 billion, that's 40 per cent more than in 2008 (£5.1 billion) when we last did the calculation.
- That tax will be even higher next year if the Government implements a hike in VAT. If VAT was at 20 per cent, the Christmas tax bill this year would be £8 billion.
- The tax bill for drinks will be around £1.35 billion.
- 60 per cent of adults will go to see the in-laws this Christmas. With train services sparse that's a £163 million fuel tax on quality time.
Mike Denham, TaxPayers' Alliance Research Fellow, said,
"While Santa Claus is coming down the chimney, George Osborne is sneaking through the back door, like the Grinch stealing the presents. Taxpayers will be disappointed that while they are saving for Christmas the Chancellor is planning to hit them in the New Year with higher VAT. Neither of the coalition parties have any mandate for a VAT hike that they expressly said they weren't planning to introduce and that will hit poor families the hardest. The VAT hike should be cancelled."