UK Policy Briefings
Spring Budget 2022: Taxation and gender
Date Posted: Wednesday 9th March 2022
“Women tend to benefit particularly from the public spending financed by tax. Because they are more likely to take up caring roles, they are also particularly vulnerable to cuts in state spending.”
Women tend to benefit particularly from public spending financed by tax. Because they are more likely to take up caring roles, they are also particularly vulnerable to cuts in state spending. We need a wholesale reform of the tax system to make it more progressive and better able to contribute to the funding of public expenditure.
This requires ensuring that all forms of income and capital gains are taxed in the same progressive way. Ways of taxing wealth to reduce inequality should be explored, and inheritance tax should be replaced by the progressive taxation of receipts. Tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions should be treated like any other expenditure with their gains rigorously assessed against their costs to the Exchequer, and tax avoidance should be tackled more effectively. HMRC should be funded properly, to allow it to recruit more and better qualified staff.
“ Local taxation is in urgent need of reform, and central government funding should ensure needs can be met across the country.”
Local taxation is in urgent need of reform through the introduction of a local income tax or a land value tax. In the meantime, council tax should be reformed to reflect current property values more accurately and progressively, and central government funding should be increased to enable needs to be met fairly across the country.
When the Health and Social Care levy comes into force in 2023 it should be reframed as an addition to income tax, rather than national insurance, and it should be supplemented by progressive reforms to capital gains tax, wealth and inheritance taxes.
The Marriage Tax Allowance and the Higher Income Child Benefit Charge should be abolished to restore genuinely independent taxation. National Insurance contributions should be made fairer by abolishing the upper earnings limit and applying it to workers above state pension age, and the taxation of different forms of employment should be reformed so that tax cannot be reduced by claiming bogus self-employment.
We should explore new ways of using tax to prevent environmental damage that do not increase inequalities, and alcohol taxes should be increased to benefit the nation’s health, including the effects of violence against women and girls.