Think tank is attacking UK political parties over tax rises

Think tank is attacking UK political parties over tax rises

A think tank is attacking UK political parties over tax rises that are needed – but it has succeeded only in facing in two difference directions, depending on which parties it is criticising.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says Labour and the Conservatives have “ducked” the need to raise taxes over the next five years and are engaging in a “conspiracy of silence”.

It said the UK has the highest debt level for more than 60 years, taxes are near a record high and spending has swelled – but public services are “visibly struggling”.

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While the government is paying huge interest on debts and welfare bills have grown, spending on health is likely to rise because of an ageing population while defence funding will have to increase.

Meanwhile, economic growth is subdued.

The IFS also attacked Reform UK’s plan to cut taxes by £90 billion and increase spending by £50 billion, which would be “paid for” by an unspecified £150 billion package of measures such as cutting welfare and “government waste”.

It said any future government would have a “trilemma”, being forced to choose between raising taxes by more than they have told us in their manifesto, implementing cuts to some areas of spending or borrowing more and being content for debt to rise for longer.

But the think tank has also attacked the party that has already said it would do two of these things.

It said the Green Party had outlined major spending plans which would be paid for by tax rises and an additional £80bn a year in borrowing.

But the IFS then contradicted itself by saying what the Green Party proposed was “wholly unattainable”.

IFS director Paul Johnson was quoted by the BBC as saying: “The way they suggest that they have radical ideas which can realistically make a positive difference, when in fact what they propose is wholly unattainable, helps to poison the entire political debate.”

This Writer would say to Mr Johnson: Make up your mind.

You cannot expect to be taken seriously if you slam Labour and the Tories for ignoring the need for tax rises and then pillory the Green Party for acknowledging the same need and building it into its offer to the public.

Or is your problem the fact that the Green tax plan involves taking just one per cent of their assets from the super-rich? It’s fine to take more from the poor, but not from the rich – is that it?

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