Property tax reform must not increase overall tax burden, says IEA expert
Mark Littlewood, Director General at the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to calls for the Chancellor to replace council tax and stamp duty with a single new property tax
“The present council tax system is in desperate need of reform and moving to a more efficient and manageable system of property taxes could be a welcome move. However, the Chancellor needs to be wary of two major bear traps.
“The overall tax burden in the UK is far too high. If the tax take on property is to rise, other taxes need to be cut by at least as much.
“We also need to get away from the belief that changes in the tax system are only acceptable if they result in the relatively wealthy paying more and the majority paying less.
“Of course, the tax take from the affluent should be higher than for average or poorer households, but we must not delude ourselves into believing that the dire of state of the public finances can be corrected simply by taking a bit more money from millionaires.
“Balancing the books will require a substantial rollback in government spending. We are already at – or close to – the maximum taxable limit of the economy.”
Notes to editors
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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.
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