IEA Conversations

The morality of tax cuts

June 28, 2019
Britain’s tax burden as a proportion of national income is at its highest for nearly half a century and our tax rulebook is one of the lengthiest and most complex in the western world.

Candidates in the Tory leadership contest have put forward proposals to reduce at least one tax or another. Boris Johnson has suggested raising the threshold at which the 40p rate kicks in, from £50,000 to £80,000 and Jeremy Hunt favours a substantial reduction in corporation tax, to 12.5 per cent. 

But there has been backlash on such proposals, that they are designed for the well off and big business, rather than with those on low or average incomes.

So what can be done? Are these the right tax cuts to be prioritising? Is there a case for slashing taxes for the rich? Are we doomed to continue down the path of our tax system becoming ever more contrived, impenetrable and even failing to sensibly maximise government revenue?

The IEA's Digital Manager Darren Grimes invited the IEA's Director General Mark Littlewood and Associate Director Kate Andrews to debate how we make the moral case for a slimmer tax rulebook, and a significantly less complex one at that.