Monday, 14 October 2013
I've written a new report for the IEA about sin taxes and stealth taxes which has been covered here, here, here and here. It looks at the role of indirect taxes in Britain's much-discussed cost of living crisis and their impact on the poor in particular.
When it comes to green taxes, fuel taxes and 'sin taxes' on alcohol and tobacco, left-wingers are strangely indifferent to the undeniably regressive impact on the poor. It seems that they just don't care, or at least that they care less about the cost of living than they do about their pet causes of environmentalism and public health.
People in the bottom fifth of the income stream spend, on average, 11.4 per cent of their disposable income on sin taxes (not the products, just the tax!) and spend a further 10.3 per cent on VAT. If they smoke or drive a car, they pay significantly more.
It seems to me that a good first step to tackling poverty would be for the government to stop taking money from the poor—money which has often been given to them by the government in the first place.
I've written a short blog post about this for the IEA and you can download the report for free here.
Posted by Christopher Snowdon at 10:33 am