For Sunday’s papers, Sunday 16 March 2008
- The UK's Tax Freedom Day – the day when the average Briton stops working for the Chancellor and starts working for themselves – will fall on 2 June in 2008. That means that for 155 days of the year, every penny earned by the average UK resident will be taken to support government expenditures.
- This assumes that the Chancellor has his growth forecasts right. If the economy grows more slowly than expected, taxes take a larger share of our income, and Tax Freedom Day comes later. Last year Tax Freedom Day was forecast for 1 June. But the economy did not live up to the government's predictions, and Tax Freedom Day did not actually come until 4 June.
- Things do not look set to improve. On the government's current predictions, Tax Freedom Day 2009 will not come until 5 June – the latest date yet under the Labour government.
- If you take public sector borrowing into account, Tax Freedom Day for 2008 will not arrive until 14 June!
The Adam Smith Institute has calculated Tax Freedom Day since 1991, and has figures going back to 1963 – when Tax Freedom Day was more than a month earlier, falling on 24 April. For more information and details of how Tax Freedom Day is calculated, visit http://www.adamsmith.org/tax-freedom-day/