Britain's tax bill has increased by more than 50% in the past ten years under Labour, it has been claimed.
A report by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) pressure group said that the total tax burden now stood at £517 billion a year - the equivalent of £20,700 per household.
That compared with a tax take of £294 billion in 1997-98 when Labour came to power, representing a 76% increase in cash terms over the decade or 51% if inflation is taken into account.
The TPA said much of the increase was accounted for by little-noticed "stealth taxes" or by "fiscal drag" - failing to raise tax thresholds in line with earnings - which the TPA now estimates accounts for £14 billion of the annual tax take.
The fastest growing tax was said to be stamp duty which now brings in £14.3 billion compared to a take of £3.5 billion ten years ago - an increase of more than 300%.
At the same time, the TPA said that fees and charges by local authorities and other public bodies had been "ratcheted up" and become much more widespread.
It said that school dinners charges had risen 50% over the decade to £1 billion a year, parking charges and fines had risen to over £1 billion, while charges for hospital car parks now raise now over £100 million in England alone.
The report's author, Mike Denham, a former Treasury economist, said that the Government had used "every trick in the book" to drive up the tax burden.
"People are increasingly beset by record levels of taxation and growing service charges, but there has been no improvement in services in return," he said.
"We find ourselves paying more and more for less and less. With rocky economic times ahead, this rate of taxation simply cannot be sustained."
Now I know why I'm becoming more like Victor Meldrew every day!!
Article courtesy of MSN News. Photo courtesy of The BBC.
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