Tax rises not needed to fund increased investment in public services, says AAT report

Calculator and pen on a desk
Tuesday 4 September 2018 - 07:30

AAT today published a detailed report recommending a range of measures that would raise over £27 billion while protecting taxpayers from further tax rises or increased borrowing.

The report comes after the Prime Minister committed to raising a further £20 billion of annual investment for the NHS, and with many other government departments pushing for greater investment in their areas of responsibility. This is against the backdrop of a stubbornly high deficit.

Time for change: AAT alternatives to tax rises suggests that politicians’ standard response of taxing or borrowing more is not the only solution and that "the proposals also show that improvements, not just to intergenerational fairness but in delivering greater fairness overall, can be made without necessarily costing the taxpayer any more money".

Recommendations include:

  • Raising the qualifying age for free eye tests and prescriptions from 60 to the state pension age
  • Simplifying inheritance tax
  • Switching Stamp Duty liability from the buyer to the seller
  • Removing higher rate tax relief for pension contributions
  • Scrapping the Christmas bonus
  • Scrapping the Marriage Allowance

Phil Hall, AAT's Head of Public Affairs & Public Policy, said: "AAT's recommendations will not clear the deficit or enable investment to be showered across the country but they do identify over £27 billion of annual savings and deserve serious consideration as a worthwhile, credible and thought-provoking contribution to the UK taxation and investment debate."

Recognising that there is likely to be political sensitivity around some of the proposals, Hall added: "Rather than knee-jerk responses, we need policy makers who will look at what’s effective and what isn’t, what’s fair and what’s not and where investment is really needed, rather than where it’s politically expedient to spend taxpayers' money."

Read the Time for change: AAT alternatives to tax rises report in full.