Research papers

Briefing: the cost of beer duty

Overview: At £0.60 per pint at five per cent abv, the UK has the second highest beer duty of any country when compared with EU member states. This is double Slovenia’s; almost quadruple Denmark’s; and more than any EU country England or Scotland can play in the Euro 2024 football... Read more...

Briefing: effects of introducing a tax threshold to ISAs

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are tax free savings accounts which allow individuals to save a maximum of £20,000 per year. Currently, ISAs have no upper savings limit. Under a proposed change, there would be an upper limit of £100,000 capping the amount which could be saved without being taxed and... Read more...

Wasting Monet? Local authority artworks 2024

Museums, galleries and libraries are often publicly owned and under the control of their local authority. This means that local authorities are in possession of significant amounts of art. This can include artwork of a substantial value.  But local authorities’ art ownership is not restricted to libraries and museums. Many... Read more...

Estimate: cost of the Covid Inquiry 2024

Key findings The cost of the Covid Inquiry is projected to be over £196 million. The cost per day is estimated to be £136,907. The formal establishment of the Covid Inquiry was on 28 June 2022.[1] Witnesses are expected to conclude giving evidence in June 2026.[2] The costs incurred by... Read more...

Briefing: the rising tax burden

The Office for Budget Responsibility releases monthly data compiling figures on the public finances. Analysis of 74 years of parliamentary terms and tax burden data up to 2024-25 in the April 2024 release[1] shows that the current parliament is set to have raised the tax burden more than any other... Read more...

Briefing: railway renationalisation

Support for the full renationalisation of Britain’s railways is consistently popular amongst the public. A recent poll showed that almost 70 per cent of the British public support train operating companies being brought back into public ownership.[1] Labour has also supported this proposal, recently pledging to renationalise most passenger rail... Read more...

Briefing: public sector sickness

On 19 April 2024, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced a range of welfare reforms in a bid to end what he called Britain’s “sick note culture”.[1] The prime minister highlighted that eleven million fit notes were issued last year with only 6 per cent signed maybe fit for work.[2] This... Read more...

Town Hall Rich List 2024

Town Hall Rich List 2024 marks the 17th edition of this research, first compiled in 2007. For the past 17 years the TaxPayers’ Alliance has assembled the most comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of over £100,000 in total remuneration in a single financial year. For... Read more...

GP Rich List

Introduction In the United Kingdom, general practices are small businesses which the National Health Service (NHS) contracts to provide general medical services and assist with primary care. While GPs are privately run businesses, they are taxpayer funded and, therefore, taxpayers will want to understand how public funds are allocated and,... Read more...

City Hall Rich List 2024

Over the past two decades the TaxPayers’ Alliance has held all levels of government to account for its use of public money, including scrutinising staffing costs. This principle underpins our rich lists, which detail the remuneration of the highest paid people across the public sector.[1],[2] As taxpayer funded authorities, it... Read more...

Briefing: threshold freezes and rate cuts

In his autumn statement in November the chancellor cut the main rate of national insurance from 12 to 10 per cent, effective from 6 January.[1] In his budget, he cut it again by another 2 percentage points to 8 per cent,[2] while stating a ‘long term’ ambition to abolish it... Read more...

Stonewall subsidy 2024

Introduction Many charities rely on public bodies for funding. One way in which the government funds charities is through grants which can total hundreds of millions of pounds each year across all charities.[1],[2] Another way is via publicly funded bodies subscribing to the charity in return for guidance and services.... Read more...

Briefing: the real national debt 2024

The chancellor has unveiled his budget for the upcoming financial year. Alongside spending and taxation changes, figures have been released from the Office for Budget Responsibility showing the size of the national debt which is forecast to rise to almost £2.8 trillion next year.[1] This figure alone is more than... Read more...

Lifetime tax 2024

Introduction Since its inception in 2004, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has been highlighting the impact of taxation on the public and businesses. Now, the impact of the tax burden comes alongside sustained high levels of inflation. Inflation for December 2023 stood at four per cent,[1] double the Bank of England’s target... Read more...

Briefing: Pembrokeshire council tax increase

Key findings Under current proposals for a 16.31 per cent council tax increase in Pembrokeshire,[1] the average band D council tax will rise by over £219. If the Welsh government implemented a council tax referendum limit equivalent to the level in England of 4.99 per cent, the average band D... Read more...

Briefing: tax burdens and elections

Analysis of 50 years of election results and tax burden data up to 2024-25,[1] when the next election must occur, shows that governments which raise tax burdens are less likely to win elections. Tax policy should not be determined by the electoral calendar but this research demonstrates that voters do... Read more...

Briefing: rising number of people paying income tax

In the 2021 Budget the then chancellor, Rishi Sunak, froze the personal allowance and higher rate income tax thresholds from 2021-22 until 2025-26[1]. This freeze was extended to 2027-28 and the additional rate threshold cut from £150,000 to £125,140 in 2023-24 by Jeremy Hunt in the 2022 Autumn Statement.[2] These... Read more...

TaxPayers' Alliance submission to budget consultation

Executive summary The growing problem of the tax burden should be properly addressed with a tax burden strategy which sets a long-term target of 30.3 per cent of GDP, matching the average tax burden imposed in the 1990s. The basic rate of income tax should be cut to 18 per... Read more...

Taxes, growth and the tax burden

Executive summary The tax burden is at the highest level since the 1940s and growth has been lacklustre. Growth can refer to a change between one steady state and another, any change between two levels of output or a change that occurs over a period longer than a business cycle.... Read more...

Briefing: increases in local authority sales, fees and charges

Local authorities raise revenue in several ways including council tax, grants from central government, and business rates. Some also fund services through sales, fees, and charges (SFC), including charges on essential services such as waste removal and birth, death, and marriage registrations (including proof of life documents). Over time, taxpayers... Read more...

Nanny state Christmas feast

For millions around the UK, Christmas Day is the family event of the year, a day of relaxation, celebration and indulgence – with Christmas dinner being the centre piece of this annual festival. But can such merriment be accommodated by nannying public health officials? NHS guidance currently recommends that adult... Read more...

Estimate: The cost of the covid inquiry

Key findings An inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic was formally established on 28 June 2022. [1] It is estimated that witnesses are expected to finish giving evidence by June 2026. [2] The Covid Inquiry has already cost over £56 million up to 30 September 2023. [3], [4] This already makes... Read more...

Briefing: the cost of the proposed smoking ban

Executive summary Tobacco duties are forecast to raise £8.9 billion in 2023-24[1] For every year until 2028-29 the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts that the amount raised by tobacco duties will be around £9 billion[2] The cost of smoking per year to the NHS and social care sector is... Read more...

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