Today is Tax Freedom Day in the UK, the first time Britons start earning rather than paying tax in the calendar year and for the first time since 2001, the date has fallen in June.
The 3 June Tax Freedom Day falls four days later than 2015 and means UK taxpayers have worked 154 days this year to pay their taxes, according to calculations by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI).
While net national income has increased by £34.6bn from 2015, the government has raised £35.4bn more in taxes, leaving Britons £1bn worse off than last year, the ASI claimed.
The ASI is calling on the government to raise the threshold of national insurance contributions (NICs) from £8,060 to £11,000, the same level as income tax. Both should then be pegged to the annual salary of a full-time minimum wage worker, so low earners pay no tax on their earnings.
Dr Eamonn Butler, director of the ASI, said: ‘The Treasury hates Tax Freedom Day because they don’t want us to know how much tax we really pay. They conceal the tax burden with stealth taxes that we don’t even realise we’re paying.
‘But it’s shocking that the government takes over two-fifths of the country’s earnings – and then borrows more. We work longer for the government than mediaeval serfs had to work for their Lords.’
John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham, said: ‘I think it is wrong that people have to work for the government until 3 June and for their families and themselves for only a little over half the year. I want us to leave the EU so we have more of our own money to spend. The UK deserves a tax cut and leaving is the way to get it.’