According to a new report from the OECD, the share of Britain’s GDP represented by tax take remained at 37.4% in 2001, the same as in 2000. As such, its taxation was well below that of France (45.4%), Italy (41.8%), but above that of Germany (36.4%), Canada (35.2%) and almost certainly well above those for Japan and the US, for whom figures are not yet available, but who in 2000 levied 27.1% and 29.6% respectively.
Across OECD members for whom 2001 figures are available, tax burdens fell slightly – by one-tenth of a percentage to 37.3% – which reverses the trend of the previous six years, where average tax takes rose from 36.1% to 37.4%, (1995-2000).
The report concluded that economic growth (or losses) explained this phenomenon, saying: ‘Steady growth in OECD tax-to-GDP ratios over the preceding five years, despite widespread cuts in tax rates, illustrates the complex factors that determine tax burdens. Part of the explanation for the rise lay in rapid economic growth, which increased company profits and lifted individual incomes into higher tax brackets.’
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