The TaxPayers’ Alliance established the 2020 Tax Commission with the Institute of Directors. Families and businesses in the UK are taxed far too much and the system is far too complicated. The work of this Commission has looked at ways to address these problems.
The Chancellor called our tax system a "spaghetti-bowl" and the final report of the 2020 Tax Commission will feed into the debate on how to simplify it.
The reality is that families and businesses in the UK are still taxed far too much. The UK has the world’s longest tax code – which has more than doubled in the last 13 years – and the costs of administering this system have soared at the same time.
For too long policy in a variety of areas, from welfare to business support, has seen the Government tax people and businesses too much and then hand some of it back as tax credits or grants. The VAT hike has come in, as well as fuel duty; the level of employers’ National Insurance Contributions offers weak incentives for employers to hire more staff and grow their business; hard-working families have less of their own money in their pockets and even face substantial taxes when they die; the complexity of the tax system means that mistakes are all too common.
As the Government tries to tackle the deficit, it’s important that a credible and robust long-term plan for tax reform is articulated – and the 2020 Tax Commission has explore ways to do this.
"We’ve seen over the years how better tax policy can produce more dynamic and prosperous economies. In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan built on the intellectual groundwork laid by supply-side economists and free market think tanks. The policies they put in place revitalised the British and American economies and the beneficial effects are still being felt today. But the arguments for tax reform need to be renewed. If we are going to get that kind of incredible change again and undo some recent mistakes we need to start laying the intellectual groundwork and making the case for lower, simpler, flatter taxes. The TaxPayers’ Alliance 2020 Tax Commission sounds like exactly the right way to do that and it is exciting to see such an effective campaign making such a serious effort on this vital issue. I am sure it will produce valuable lessons for policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic."
"Lower tax rates are the lifeblood of an enterprise economy. In a very competitive world entrepreneurs and companies looking to invest seek out the best centres. They are swayed by how much of their income will go in tax, how much of their profit if successful will be taken, and how much capital gains tax they will suffer on disposal. They do not have to come to the UK or stay here. The UK Government wishes to raise a lot of extra tax revenue over the next few years to reduce its deficit. On its current plans it aims to raise £176 billion a year more by 2014-15 compared to 2009-10. Cutting tax rates on enterprise and success is one way the Government could aim to increase its current tax revenues. There is abundant evidence that when in the past the UK and the USA have raised capital gains tax rates they have collected less tax. Income tax too is subject to declining revenues if you fix the rate too high. I look forward to the work of the Tax Commission. I hope they will reinforce the message that if you want to tax the rich more, the best way to do it is to set competitive rates of tax. That way more come here, more stay here, more save and invest here, more create jobs here. You end up with more revenue and a bigger enterprise sector."