Age UK Calls For Tax Rises While Encouraging Tax Avoidance

Age UK today calls on the government to raise taxes to pay for the country’s social care system. In its briefing paper Health and Care of Older People in England 2017, the charity states:

If you believe, as Age UK does, that the current situation cannot be allowed to go on then you may conclude, like us, that the need for a proper discussion…means it runs up against some ‘sacred cows’ – such as the possibility of raising taxes on income or wealth.

This could generously be interpreted as a cognitive lapse on the part of Age UK, since it also advises the elderly on how to reduce their tax bills and especially on inherited wealth. For example, its leaflet on will writing excitedly promotes tax efficiency measures:

Making a will is vital if you want to be certain that your wishes will be met after you die – and it might also prevent you from paying unnecessary taxes to the government…  it might be possible to reduce the Inheritance Tax bill that may be payable on your estate after your death. 

Not sure how you can credibly argue taxes need to go up while also helping the elderly reduce their tax bills…




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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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