Decade of Conservative Rule Saw Tax Raised on Britons Over 1,000 Times

UXBRIDGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of the
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Despite election-time promises, in the near-11 years since coming to power the UK Conservative party has increased taxes more often than it cut them and the tax burden is on the verge of hitting a 70-year-high.

The Conservative party, said to be the most successful political party on earth for its historic ability to reliably win elections, came to power in May 2010. Although its first parliament was in coalition with the centrist-globalist Liberal Democrats, since then it has governed alone, and despite a free hand to help the British people in line with its traditional principles — low tax, less interference, pro-freedom — taxes have instead risen.

Now the scale of these rises has been thrown into sharp relief by the public’s advocate think tank the Tax Payers’ Alliance, which catalogued every tax change since May 2010. Changes to tax levels took place a remarkable 1,651 times in that period but remarkably considering Conservative promises, 1,034 — or 63 per cent — of those were actually rises.

In all tax has gone up, on average, once every three days for over a decade, the Daily Telegraph calculates.

Underlining the disconnect between Conservative rhetoric and Conservative delivery, the TPA noted:

The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised that “Conservatives want to give you freedom – low taxes, opportunity, the chance to realise your dreams.” Yet under the current Conservative prime minister, the sustained tax burden will reach a 70 year high.

While the statistics underline a long term failure by the Conservative party to use its historic period in office to advance the interests of its own voters, the TPA’s research does indicate that while the tax burden is now at a 70-year-high, the question of whether a thaw could be on the horizon is open.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the way the Liberal Democrat coalition pulled the Conservatives to the left during their time in coalition, David Cameron was the most tax-happy Prime Minister of the Conservative decade, he put taxes up on average 110 times a year for a total of 663 rises.

His luckless successor Theresa May wasn’t much better, putting taxes up around 100 times a year. But present Prime Minister Boris Johnson — perhaps unsurprisingly, given over half of his leadership has now been consumed with the coronavirus lockdown — has changed taxes far less, putting tolls up just 50 times a year.

According to the TPA’s research, Johnson’s administration has actually cut taxes once more often than it has put taxes up so far — an unmatched achievement.

Yet that line of optimism on Johnson’s tax behaviour so far — and most of it during the coronavirus pandemic when the government-imposed lockdown’s economic collapse made any sort of tax rise all but impossible — is very obviously tempered by what is expected in the new budget expected this coming week. The government’s response to coronavirus has been marked by near-unprecedented levels of government spending, with wartime-like leaps in public borrowing.

Although the government could choose to give the economy the best chance possible of roaring back into life post-lockdown by minimising the burden on individuals and businesses, reports on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s likely actions paint a bleak picture.

The Sunday Times reports that Sunak was already laying the ground for “stealth” tax rises to be announced in his budget this week, forecasting that one measure coming forward would be freezing the levels at which the income tax bands apply. This is a “stealth” rise because while the figures won’t actually change immediately, they will be prevented from moving with inflation in coming years, meaning more and more people will be drawn into higher tax brackets over the coming years.

The paper states this means 1.6 million people would be pushed into a higher rate tax bracket before the 2024 general election. Indicating the government doesn’t intend to balance the budget with this and other hikes, the paper reported Sunak would “sweeten” this pitter pill with tens of billions in new spending.

As already noted, taxes are already at a historic high in Britain, after years of rises. Breitbart London reported earlier this month on the then-comments of Taxpayer’s Alliance chief executive John O’Connell, who said of the state of the nation: “The sustained tax burden is now the highest it’s been since the country was recovering from the Second World War 70 years ago, and any tax rises in the next Budget will put that figure even higher.

“In these difficult times, the Chancellor should give hard-pressed families and businesses a respite from taxes, offer a rescue to struggling sectors and try to revive the economy.”

High levels of tax are not the only area in which the Conservatives look worryingly like they may have squandered a good decade in power. Another area of key branding for the Tories has long been the perception of being the party of law and order, yet UK knife crime has been rising for most of the time the Conservatives have been in power and recently hit a historic high.


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