Press Release: Tax Freedom Day falls on 31st May in 2015

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07476 915072

  • Tax Freedom day falls one day later than it did in 2014; a reminder that the Government needs to make tax cuts a priority in this Parliament.
  • Brits work 150 days of the year solely to pay taxes; every day from 1st January to 30th May.
  • Cost of Government Day is 29th June, three days earlier than in 2014; the government is cutting total spending slowly, but the national debt—and future taxes needed to pay it off—are still ballooning.

This year’s Tax Freedom Day, the day when Britons stop working to pay their taxes and start earning for themselves, falls on 31st May, according to Adam Smith Institute calculations.

The Adam Smith Institute estimates that Britons will work 150 days this year solely to pay their taxes. This is one day later than 2014′s Tax Freedom Day, which is not statistically significant. However, the UK’s Tax Freedom Day falls more than a month later than it does in the United States, where citizens started earning for themselves on 24th April.

Tax Freedom Day is designed to reveal to the public how much they really pay out in taxes, which Britain’s lengthy tax code can often obscure. The Institute's calculations include all taxes raised by HM Revenue and Customs: direct taxes like income tax, national insurance and corporation tax, and indirect taxes like VAT and excise duties.

Cost of Government Day, which represents Total Managed Expenditure as a day of the year, falls on 29th June, three days earlier than it fell in 2014. While this suggests a slight improvement over last year, the money borrowed to cover the month-long gap between Tax Freedom Day must eventually be paid off with future taxes. This means without tax cuts or major growth Tax Freedom Day would eventually have to drift even later.

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr Eamonn Butler, said:

The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day, because they don't want us to know how much tax we really pay. They prefer to conceal the tax burden through stealth taxes and indirect taxes that we don't even realise we're paying.

Most people are shocked to learn that the government takes over two-fifths of the country's earnings – and then borrows more. Mediaeval serfs had to work about a third of their time for their feudal lord, but we are in serfdom to the government for even longer!

High taxes are very bad for economic growth, as talent and initiative drain abroad. Ask President Hollande of France.

Alan Mak, Conservative MP for Havant, added:

The ASI’s work on Tax Freedom Day reminds us that we must carry on reducing the tax burden on hardworking individuals and businesses so we have greater economic growth and individual prosperity. That’s a goal I champion as a member of the new Conservative intake; income tax cuts and frozen council tax and fuel duty have so far made millions of Britons better off, but politicians must continue to look for new ways to get money back into taxpayer pockets, not out.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Head of Communications, at | 07476 915072.

The ASI calculates Tax Freedom Day by measuring local taxes, direct and indirect national taxes, and national insurance contributions as a proportion of the UK’s net national income (41.2% per cent in 2015), mapping that proportion onto the days of the year.

Tax Freedom Day figures are not available up-to-date for calendar years so they are proxied from government and OBR forecasts and financial year numbers. They are then revised when exact numbers become available.

Click here for more information on previous Tax Freedom Days and Cost of Government Days.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.