UK Policy Briefings
Taxation and Gender
Date Posted: Monday 23rd November 2020
- Tax is the necessary financial contribution that individuals and companies make to a well-functioning society. Women tend to benefit particularly from the public spending that tax can be used to finance.
- The costs of the pandemic should not be paid for by immediate tax rises or any further austerity cuts in public services.
- Instead the tax system should be reformed to make it more progressive and able to contribute better to the funding of public expenditure, including by introducing more progressive income tax schedules in which all income, capital gains and gifts are taxed in the same way.
- Tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions should be treated like any other expenditure with their gains rigorously assessed against their costs. A wholesale reassessment of the existing system of reliefs on such a basis is required with a view to reducing the expenditure made on them, which fuels tax avoidance and tends to benefit better-off men.
- Inheritance tax should be replaced by the progressive taxation of receipts to reduce wealth inequalities and promote social mobility.
- Fuel taxes should not continue to be frozen; thought should be given to implementing new and existing environmental taxes in ways that do not increase inequalities.
- A better system of local taxation based on local income tax and a land value tax should be considered. In the meantime, central government funding of Local Authorities should be increased.
- Corporation tax should be set at average international levels for OECD countries to prevent a race to the bottom in taxing business profits
- The UK should take the lead in developing international agreements to prevent tax secrecy (e.g.by requiring country by country reporting), set floors to tax levels to prevent a raise to the bottom in personal and business taxation, remove tax loopholes that allow for tax avoidance and restrict the range of tax allowances, reliefs and exemptions more generally.
- Tax avoidance, both through tax havens and in the UK, should be tackled more effectively, including through funding HMRC properly to employ more and better qualified staff at HMRC.