The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) recently released a report indicating that the UK is heading towards record tax levels, reaching heights not seen since 1948, primarily due to increased government spending and demographic pressures on public services.
The IFS analysis forecasts taxes to reach around 37% of national income by the 2024 general election. The government's response, emphasising the importance of driving down inflation as a means of effective tax reduction, highlights the challenges faced.
Tax Policy Dilemma
A significant factor contributing to this rise is the government's decision to increase Corporation Tax from 19% to 25% and implement levies on profits generated by energy companies.
These measures, combined with demographic changes and health service pressures, have led to a permanent increase in taxes, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director, Paul Johnson.
Despite the challenging economic scenario, some Conservative MPs are advocating for tax cuts, suggesting options such as raising the VAT threshold for businesses.
Tax Policy Debate
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, however, stated that tax cuts are currently "virtually impossible" due to the high national debt and the cost of servicing it. The rising interest rates have increased the government's expenditure on debt, leaving limited room for tax reductions.
The ongoing debate within the Conservative Party revolves around the potential impact of maintaining historically high tax levels on the party's political standing, especially considering the soaring cost of living.
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