Developed countries take more tax as global economy recovers

Ben Southwood
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TAX takes across developed countries continued to slowly recover from lows hit during the depths of the recession, data revealed yesterday.

Average tax revenue across rich countries climbed to 34 per cent of GDP in 2011, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said yesterday, up from 33.8 per cent in 2010 – but down from 35.1 per cent before the crisis. This reflected increases in 20 of the 29 countries for which data was available, and decreases in just six.

The OECD said the boost to the tax take came from the beginnings of economic recovery, combined with rate rises and base broadening, and said the revenue boost would help austerity plans.

“This increase in 2011 tax revenues supports fiscal consolidation efforts in many countries,” said OECD boss Angel Gurría. But Gurría warned states that raise taxes could harm growth.