The average Briton is now effectively earning money for themselves, having yesterday finished their 148-day stint working for George Osborne to pay off their tax share.
But according to the Adam Smith Institute, which annually counts the time it typically takes to pay taxes, including VAT and corporation tax, the chancellor “deserves some credit.”
That’s because Tax Freedom Day, the first date in the year when you begin to earn for yourself, this year fell on May 28th -- three days earlier than it was in 2013.
Although not “statistically significant,” the decrease means that slightly less of a worker’s year is being devoted to paying off income tax and other liabilities levied by the State.
But it is “still outrageous” that the average person must work nearly five months of the year just to meet the demands of HM Treasury, which the institute blamed for the burden.
“The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day precisely because it shows the bottom line so clearly,” said Dr Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute.
“They try to conceal the take by cooking up stealth taxes or by making the tax rules so complex that nobody can work out what they are really paying.”
The effect on the UK is one of the “longest and clumsiest” tax codes in the world, argued Butler, adding that Tax Freedom Day in the US falls more than a month earlier.
Pointing to the UK, he reflected: “Despite the financial crisis and a change of government, the date [of Tax Freedom Day] has remained stuck at the end of May for most of the last twelve years.”
Campaigners at the Taxpayers’ Alliance welcomed the institute’s research, saying the calculations proved UK taxes were ‘too high, too complicated and in need of drastic reform.’
“We want to see tax cuts so that people get to keep more of the money that they earned, to spend on their own families,” the alliance said. “It doesn’t make sense for politicians to take a huge chunk of cash from people’s pay cheques, then dish some of it out in grants and benefits.”