Osborne accused of raising tax burden
A report by MPs on the Treasury select committee has accused George Osborne of breaching his promise of a "lower tax society". It suggests the chancellor will raise the overall tax burden in the coming years to generate £50bn extra in revenue. The report highlights that the proportion of tax was 33% of GDP in 2014-15 and will rise to 33.9% in 2016-17. It will then go up to 34.2% of GDP in 2018 and stay at this level until the end of the parliament. However the research does make clear that Mr Osborne reduced the tax burden in his early years as chancellor, from 35.8% in 2010-11. The report also warns that the latest raid on the buy-to-let housing market risks damaging Britain’s economic recovery. MPs said a new stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes from April was likely to result in a reduction in the supply of privately rented homes and could push up rents. It may also lead to fewer jobs being created as people find it harder to relocate for work, the committee added. The committee also believes that Mr Osborne is likely to have to raise taxes by the back door in coming years because he has restricted room for manoeuvre on major taxes by introducing the "tax lock", which prevents rises in national insurance, income tax and VAT.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (13/02/2016)