Analysis

It is not whether taxes will go up – but who will pay

Boris Johnson’s social care ‘plan’ may have sparked political infighting, but the real battle will be over how the burden of a higher tax era will be shared, writes Phil Thornton

Monday 13 September 2021 15:40
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<p>The size of the state, with higher taxes and more spending, is set to be permanently made bigger by the UK government’s social care reforms, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Joe Giddens/PA)</p>

The size of the state, with higher taxes and more spending, is set to be permanently made bigger by the UK government’s social care reforms, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Joe Giddens/PA)

The news that the tax burden in the UK will rise to its highest-ever sustained level should not in itself be a shock.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the urgent need to refinance the NHS while finding a solution to the social care crisis meant debt or taxes were going to have to rise.

The real surprise is that this takes place under a Conservative administration. The fact that the purported mass rebellion against it by Tory MPs faded shows that the low-tax zealotry of the Thatcher era is no longer dominant.

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