Research papers

Decentralise the tax system to meet future funding challenges

The government is reportedly considering plans to permit English local authorities to increase Council Tax to ease funding pressures on the social care system. Council Tax increases are an insufficient response to the significant demographic pressures facing public services. Of course, a big part of the solution lies in health... Read more...

The sugar tax and the public finances

When introducing the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, added that the revenues from the tax would be “tied directly” to funding sport and other activities in schools. This briefing paper looks at the likely effects of the tax and associated spending on the public finances.  Read... Read more...

Working for the taxman

For most people, buying something means working to pay for it. The more expensive something is, the longer we have to work to earn the money to buy it. But how much of the time we spend working to buy something is needed to pay for the purchase itself, and... Read more...

Reforming capital taxes

Taxes on capital income are poorly designed. In particular, the UK corporate tax system is a mess, fundamentally designed for another age. It’s in desperate need of comprehensive reform. Capital gains tax and corporation tax are taxes on income streams which are particularly harmful to economic performance. They should be... Read more...

Welsh Local Authority procurement card spending

­­­­­Government Payment Cards (GPCs) are used in the public sector to purchase a range of goods or services from basic office supplies to the wages of temporary staff. They can simplify high-volume, low-value transactions and provide flexibility. Scrutiny is however important. In 2012 the National Audit office confirmed that while... Read more...

Merging Income Tax and National Insurance

National insurance is a tax on labour. Two taxes, in fact. Running three slightly different income tax systems is a century-old relic that should have no place in a modern, transparent tax system. National Insurance should be abolished in three phases: 1. Transparency now. First, at this year’s autumn statement,... Read more...

Scotland's Overspending Problem

Following the EU referendum result, the Scottish government announced that Scottish independence was once again “on the table”. However, most objective analysis shows that Scotland today couldn't afford independence, with the loss of English subsidies entailing a huge and unsustainable fiscal deficit. In short, the country is living beyond its... Read more...

The per person spending factbook

The Government is spending over £770 billion of taxpayers' money this year, more that ever before. The TaxPayers' Alliance's per person spending factbook tells you where your money is going. To read the factbook click here Sources and methodology:  UK population, Households and families Source: Population: Office for National Statistics,... Read more...

Lifetime tax 2016

For many years, politicians have cited the high cost of living in the UK as a major challenge in need of a policy response. However, all too often it is government policy that causes the high cost of living. For example, energy bills rise because of ineffective “green taxes” and... Read more...

Property taxes in the UK and the regions

Property taxes impose a substantial burden on taxpayers across the country, despite frequent claims that property in the United Kingdom is undertaxed. This paper presents data showing how property taxes vary across regions compared to estimates of regional GDP, how their composition between Council Tax, business rates and stamp duty falls, and how... Read more...