Tax burden at a 50-year high, finds TaxPayers' Alliance

For Immediate Release

  • A new research note, released today by the TPA, reveals that the tax burden in Britain has reached a near 50-year high

  • Britain's tax burden has increased to 34.6% of GDP for 2018-19

  • The Treasury plans to keep Britain’s historic-high tax burden at these levels for the next five years

  • This analysis follows previous research by the TPA this year which found that the bottom 10 per cent of earners in Britain pay 49.5 per cent of their income in tax

As families start to shop for their Christmas celebrations this year, many will find they have less money in their pockets thanks to the HMRC Grinch. Shocking new figures released by the TaxPayers' Alliance today reveal that Britain's tax burden has reached a near 50-year high and it is likely to stay this way for the next five years. 

Politicians often express concern about the cost of living in Britain, but rarely consider the possibility of taking less money away from families and businesses by lowering taxes. Whilst the increase to the personal allowance was a welcome boost for millions, there is still more to be done to bring down taxes and government spending, which is now at a record £29,000 per household. 

Click here to read the full research note

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

Recently, various suggestions for higher taxes have been made:

  • A tax on meat products (link)

  • A digital services tax (link

  • A tax on plastics (link)

  • Increases to corporation tax (link

Whilst many politicians argue that tax rises are necessary to increase spending on public services, evidence shows that reducing tax rates can bring in more revenue. For example, in the UK:
  • Corporation tax receipts have increased by 25 per cent in real terms after headline rates came down from 28 per cent in 2010-11 to 19 per cent in 2017-18

  • Income tax receipts from the additional rate have increased by 37 per cent in real terms after the rate came down from 50 per cent in 2010-11 to 45 per cent in 2013-14


John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"For all the talk of increasing taxes to help the poorest the truth is that the steady growth of the tax burden often hits precisely those families the hardest, leaving them with less money to pay for the essentials. The highest tax burden in fifty years is still not enough for socialists, of course, whose answer to everything is to either increase borrowing or taxes. Other countries like the US and Australia are cutting taxes and we should be looking to replicate that to boost the economy and ease the burden on the most hard-up taxpayers."

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