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Gordon's Real Vision Thing

Gordon Brown's taxes hit 20-year peak - Telegraph
Britain has become one of the most taxed countries in the world, with people handing over a greater share of their wealth to the Treasury than at any stage in the past 20 years.

The scale of the country's tax burden was laid bare in a report published yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, one of the world's most respected economic groups.
....The OECD has ranked the tax take of the world's 30 richest nations, and for the first time since 1986 Britain is among the 10 most taxed countries, above the US, Australia, Spain, Italy and Germany.

The Treasury now takes 37.4 per cent of the gross domestic product as tax — the highest since 1986, and considerably higher than when Mr Brown took over the Treasury in 1997.

Mike Warburton, of the accountants Grant Thornton, said families were being hit hardest, with most personal taxes doubling. He said: "The big question is where has all this money gone? If it had all gone into hospitals, schools or roads and we could see they had improved, I don't think we would mind. But it hasn't."

Council taxes have doubled since 1997, with the average household paying more than £1,321 this year. And inheritance tax, even after the reforms announced last week, will net the Treasury an estimated £3.3 billion in 2009 — more than it took last year.

The Tories attacked the high tax burden, pointing out that the Treasury's own predictions showed it will continue to rise.

Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "The UK is set to have the highest tax burden in its peacetime history. Gordon Brown's appetite for cash is insatiable and hard-working families are paying the price."

Experts warned that the high tax burden would damage the economy. Corin Taylor, the research director at The TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "A decade ago this country had among the lowest taxes in the OECD, now we have some of the highest. Faced with the growing challenge of China and India, this is completely the wrong direction to go."

Tax and waste - that is the whole Gordon "thing" in a nutshell.


I'm not sure where that 37.4% figure comes from; the Adam Smith Institute cites "more than 40%".

So why did George Osborne so foolishly say the other week that a tory government would maintain Labour's spending?

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