Coalition adds 299 taxes for 119 that it cut

Ben Southwood
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ITE promising to simplify the UK’s bloated tax system, the coalition government has actually added more taxes than it has removed, according to data released this morning.

The coalition has implemented or pencilled in 299 separate tax rises but only 119 tax cuts, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) said, based on a “forensic study of Treasury and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs documents.”

Of these 299 tax hikes, 254 are already on the books, while 45 more are to hit the UK public by the end of the parliament, as the government attempts to bring tax revenues up from the £513bn clawed in in the last year of Gordon Brown’s Labour government to £671bn by 2015-16. At constant 2012-13 prices this represents an £84bn jump – from £549bn to £633bn.

“Endless tinkering at the edges of the tax system was a vice that George Osborne criticised in the last government, but of which he is equally guilty now he is in office,” said TPA chief Matthew Sinclair.

But the Treasury rebuffed these criticisms, pointing to the increase in the tax-free personal allowance as evidence they were working toward a “fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system, in which those with the most contribute the most.”