Sunday 2 December 2018 11:18 pm

British tax burden at 50-year high, according to TaxPayers’ Alliance

The TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group has called for lower taxes as ‘poorest’ families struggle with current levels.

The TPA, linked to the Atlas Network of free market advocates, said the UK’s tax take was at a 50-year high of 34.6 per cent of GDP. 

National current receipts are at a 21-year high as a proportion of GDP at 37 per cent.

"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,” chief executive John O’Connell said.

“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."

US President Donald Trump cut the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent last year and the Coalition government in Australia passed personal tax cuts mid-year. 

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the government would bring forward a tax cut for higher earners in the October budget, raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 from the current £46,351 as of April next year. However, rising National Insurance contributions for higher earners will wipe out around half of the gains.

The personal allowance will also increase to £12,000 from the current £11,850. 

The TPA’s figures show the national tax take has stayed at similar levels of GDP since 1968-69, ranging from the 35 per cent high in 1969-70 to a low of 28.5 per cent in 1993-94.

National account taxes over the same period have grown from £15.8bn in 1969-70 (not adjusted for inflation) to £700.7bn in 2018-19.