Teaching activity

In the News Teaching Activity: Highest Tax Burden for 70 Years (Oct 2023)

Elizabeth Veal

2nd October 2023

The Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts the UK tax burden will increase to about 37% of national income by 2024 and anticipates it is unlikely to come down anytime soon. Have a go at this free teaching activity, which includes a downloadable worksheet and suggested answers.

The IFS has estimated that the tax burden will have risen from 33% at the 2019 general election to almost 37% by 2024. However, when compared to similar developed economies, the UK’s tax burden is still not especially high (see the chart in the article). Extra tax revenue is needed for the government to provide public services and support the rapidly ageing population who need pensions, health and social care. However, some, such as Liz Truss, argue this higher tax burden of around £100bn more per year is holding back economic growth.

UK facing permanent higher taxes, IFS think tank says (BBC News)

Read the article and then answer the following questions.

  1. What is meant by the ‘tax burden’?
  2. In this BBC article, find some examples of tax changes that have increased the tax burden in the UK. Do you have any other examples to add?
  3. Discuss the economic arguments for and against cutting taxes before the next election in 2024.

Download the worksheet and suggested answers

Elizabeth Veal

Liz has taught Economics for over 25 years, including several years as Head of Economics at leading schools.

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