Tax at record high

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Tax burden at 30 year highFigures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that Britain collected more than £700bn in tax for the first time last year. Tax receipts rose by £28.5bn to £710bn in 2018, equivalent to 33.5% of GDP – the highest proportion since 1988. The OECD ranked Britain 20th out of 36 countries on tax-to-GDP, with the average at 34.3%. France is the highest-taxed country, at 46% of GDP. Considering the figures, Tax Justice UK executive director Robert Palmer said: "The table shows that there is plenty of scope for higher levels of tax as a proportion of GDP." The Times’ Philip Aldrick notes Conservative and Labour tax plans, with the Tories looking to lower national insurance contributions, with this offset by scrapping a scheduled reduction in corporation tax to 17%. Labour, meanwhile, plans to raise £83bn, taking tax receipts to levels not seen since the Second World War at 37% of GDP.

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