I distinctly recall that since at least prior to the 2010 General Election, experts were calling for the UK’s Tax Rule Book to be simplified.
There was definitely an article on the Daily Mail Website in September 2011 saying we should rip up the tax rule book and start again, and prior to that in April 2011 the Taxpayer’s Alliance released a video “World’s Fastest Speaker vs the UK Tax Code” to show how ridiculously large it had become at 11,000 pages.
The video seems to have long vanished from the interweb, but the TPA’s Blog post still appears to be there about it, and according to my records by the time the Conservative/LibDem coalition were done with it, the rule book instead of shrinking had increased by another 6000 pages of rules by February 2015.
When will politicians realise that tax avoidance will continue so long as we keep the 17,000-page loophole-ridden tax code they’ve created??
— Jonathan Isaby (@isaby) February 14, 2015
Therefore as part of the policy review I blogged about earlier, I suggest creating a target of slashing the rule book to 7500 pages by 2025 and 3000 pages by 2030 if we aren’t prepared to take the easier route suggested 7-years ago and just re-write the damn things from scratch with a clean sheet of paper.
Basically, if using motoring references to describe the size of the tax rule book, with the New Labour Government (1997 to 2010) they’d increased from the size of a Ford Focus to the size of a Range Rover.
By the time the coalition government had finished with them, they’d expanded to the size of an armoured personnel carrier.
I’m not sure how bad they’ve gotten since, as I haven’t seen any reports giving an update, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d expanded to the size equivalent of an HGV or a Railway Locomotive.
If Britain is to succeed in a post-Brexit world, we need to strive to shrink them back down to the size of a light and nimble Aerial Atom or Caterham Super7 instead of being a lumbering dinosaur with a gammy leg.
Perhaps even take another look at Flat Taxes, maybe?