Since the start of the new tax year, the UK population now suffers one of the highest tax burdens since the end of the Second World War.

The Conservative government still grapples with trying to balance the books and get the country’s burgeoning debt under control and sees taxes as the primary way of achieving its aims.

The furlough scheme (including the unrecoverable £16 billion amount of fraud) and general cost of the pandemic still weighs heavy on the UK (and let’s be honest – most of the countries around the world) and the current Conservative government (and the possible future Labour government) will need to devise cutting-edge tax policy ideas to raise much needed revenue, whilst keeping productivity high and the majority of the electorate on board.

Tax policy (together with the NHS) has been the main battleground for many a general election and the next election will be no different, the Labour party is already threatening a raft of tax changes so “that the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden”.

Tax policy should have the effect of maximising the tax take while minimising the damage to the tax base, or in other words, as Louis XIV’s Finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, famously declared: “the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”

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