IEA authors argue for simplification of UK tax system

The latest edition of the iea's journal, Economic Affairs, contains proposals by a number of tax experts for a simplification of the UK tax system and a reduction in the tax burden.

Professor David Myddelton of Cranfield School of Management argues that the key problem is the explosion of the welfare state. Welfare Spending has doubled since 1960, whilst worsening the problems it was designed to solve. This has led to a rise in the tax burden which has created political pressure for special exemptions, allowances and so on leading to much greater complexity of the tax system. This problem must be talked at its roots by reducing government welfare spending.

The compliance costs of the tax system are huge. These fall on businesses, particularly small businesses, but also on individuals. Fifty pages of guidance and 528 boxes to complete on a UK tax form are an unreasonable burden on all citizens, particularly the elderly and those who are not financially sophisticated. John Whitin