Nick Shaxson ■ How many people in a democracy want lower taxes?


Well, that clearly depends on the country, and the time of day. Britain is reputed to be one of the more conservative, lower-tax ones, at least among OECD countries. But this graph, from Oxford economics professor Simon Wren-Lewis about UK attitudes on the size of the state, should certainly give its politicians pause for thought.

tax and spend


The graph, which draws on data from the British Social Attitudes Survey 2014, kind of speaks for itself, but he summarises:

“The interesting result is how few people want lower taxes – always below 10%. The changes involve shifts between more spending and taxes to no change, rather than to lower spending and taxes.”

Rather like TJN, in fact. It’s not correct to say that we generally advocate “higher” taxes (which begs the question, ‘higher than what?’) We just like to push back steadily against the evidence-free assertions, routinely peddled by corporate shills and politicians, that tax cuts are the route to a brighter future, always.

Just saying.



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