The coalition government’s record on tax

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In this briefing note, we assess the coalition government’s reforms to the tax system. Although it implemented some large tax rises early in the parliament – an increase in the main rate of VAT and in all rates of National Insurance contributions (NICs) – the government has also managed to find scope for significant tax cuts. Just three of these – increases in the income tax personal allowance (net of reductions in the higher-rate threshold), cuts to the main rate of corporation tax, and real-terms cuts to fuel duties – have a combined cost of £19.5 billion in 2015–16. But the coalition’s changes to the tax system go far beyond that, with a large number of smaller measures constituting the bulk of its activity.

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