Income tax, national insurance, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty receipts have all skyrocketed, following his repeated stealth tax raids. HM Revenue & Customs collected an incredible £718.2billion in the year to March 2022, a record.
It’s like the worst days of the 1970s, when Labor Chancellor Denis Healey pledged to ‘squeeze the rich until the pips creak’.
The difference is that Healey was targeting the well-to-do, whereas today Sunak is pressing everyone, but especially middle incomes.
As I reported yesterday, marginal income tax rates are now at 62.1%. Still, you don’t have to be rich to pay for this.
A family of four with a single breadwinner earning over £50,270 will pay this rate, in income tax, NI and lost child allowance.
It’s an incredible assault on our pockets.
It’s just the direct tax burden. 20% VAT will then be applied on everything they buy.
In 1974, then Labor Chancellor Dennis Healey raised the marginal income tax rate from 75% to 83% for the highest earners.
It also imposed a 15% surtax on investment income, raising the marginal tax rate to a staggering 98%.
Sunak leaves the super-rich alone, perhaps unsurprisingly, considering he’s one of them. Instead, it hits middle incomes, as Britain’s tax burden hits its highest level in 70 years.
HMRC’s tax revenue now totals 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), up from 27% last year.
Last year’s increase was skewed by the effect of the pandemic, HMRC is keen to point out. However, our taxes have increased every year since David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010.
The only exception was 2020/21, when VAT was reduced to 5% for certain industries during the pandemic.
READ MORE: PM steps in as UK families face highest tax toll in 70 years
The bill will only increase, as we have yet to use the full brute force of Sunak’s series of stealth tax attacks.
In March last year, Sunak froze income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and retirement allowance for five years.
This means that as incomes increase, as well as property values and stock prices, more of our money will go to the treasury, year after year.
The new 1.25% National Insurance levy only came into effect this month and will bring in an additional £12billion over the coming year.
Yet Sunak still likes to portray himself as a low-tax Chancellor, and stretched the carrot by cutting basic rate income tax to 19% in the last year of this Parliament.
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In other words, just before the elections. He needs to do more than that to convince voters that he wants to lower our taxes.
To Sunak’s discharge, few complained as he lavished the country with the support it urgently needed during the Covid lockdowns.
There would always be a bill to pay for that.
Yet the current tax onslaught comes at the worst possible time, as the cost of living skyrockets. People are suffering. One in four people cannot pay essential bills.
And our overly complicated tax system has created vicious quirks, such as this 62.1% marginal tax burden on ordinary families.
The lifetime pension allowance is another horror show, ripping off 55% of people’s pensions as punishment for saving too much.
Denis Healey has always denied saying he would squeeze the rich until the pips creak. Sunak does not rush his wealthy friends at all. He targets us.