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Tax Freedom Day: Brits work 154 days of the year to pay taxes

by: Joanna Faith
  • 03/06/2016
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Tax Freedom Day – the day UK taxpayers stop paying government taxes and start earning money for themselves – falls today, four days later than in 2015.

According to calculations by economic think tank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), Brits have worked 154 days of the year solely to pay taxes – that’s every day from 1 January to 2 June.

It is the first time in 15 years Tax Freedom Day has crept into June.

The think tank said while net national income has increased by £34.6bn from 2015, government has “gobbled up” £35.4bn more in taxes, meaning Britons are £1bn worse off than last year.

The ASI is calling on the government to alleviate the pressure on the lowest earners in society and raise the threshold of National Insurance Contributions from £8,060 up to £11,000, the same level as income tax.

It said both should then be pegged to the annual salary of a full-time minimum wage worker, so low earners pay no tax on their earnings.

Director of the ASI, Dr Eamonn Butler, said: “The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day because they don’t want us to know how much tax we really pay. They conceal the tax burden with stealth taxes that we don’t even realise we’re paying.

“But it’s shocking that the government takes over two-fifths of the country’s earnings – and then borrows more. We work longer for the government than mediaeval serfs had to work for their Lords!”

ASI calculations include direct taxes like income tax and national insurance, as well as indirect taxes like VAT and corporation tax.

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