At the Financial Times, economics editor Chris Giles laments pre-election tax pledges which restrict their ability to raise taxes once in power. And his argument in favour of simplifying tax by abolishing national insurance is a strong one for which the TaxPayers' Alliance has campaigned vigorously. But he also argues that the personal allowance "undermines" income tax:
"Individuals with incomes in the top 10 per cent pay 47 per cent of income taxation, which is arguably acceptable since they control 34 per cent of income. The top 1 per cent pays 27 per cent of income taxation on 12.5 per cent of total income. How much the rich should pay is a political question, but the economic reality is that the present degree of concentration is a risk to the public finances. What seems a secure revenue stream can vanish, like corporate tax revenues from the financial sector in 2008-09. Expensive further increases in the personal income tax allowance undermine the integrity of income taxation and help the hardworking poor much less than a rise in tax credits."
"I am proud to be paying taxes... The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money."