Have a taxing christmas

The latest figures of public sector finances have been released. They show direct taxation figures are at their highest since records began 20 years ago, taking 23.6p in a £1 compared with 18.7p in a £1 in 1997. This is before indirect taxation. The Treasury argues that despite the headline figures people are better off in real terms:

“As a result of all tax and benefit reforms introduced since 1997, all households will be on average £1,000 a year better off in real terms from April 2007.”

The figures were due to be released Thursday after Christmas but ONS decided to release them early (yesterday) apparently because of Christmas.