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UK's tax burden to rise to its highest level since the 1960s

written by Bella Palmer

The headline rate of corporation tax will rise from 19% to 25% from 2023, although smaller firms will be exempt

The UK's tax burden is to rise to its highest level since the 1960s, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said, after the chancellor set out plans to fix the nation's finances.

Taxes on large company profits will rise in 2023 and 1.3 million more people will start paying income tax.

Mr Sunak said some of his decisions may not be "popular" but were "honest".

Further analysis of the Budget will be published on Thursday.

The headline rate of corporation tax will rise from 19% to 25% from 2023, although smaller firms will be exempt, while income tax thresholds will be frozen.

The freeze on income tax thresholds is expected to bring 1.3 million more people into paying income tax, while a million more will pay at the higher rate.

The OBR said the measures, along with cuts of around £4bn from departmental spending plans, would raise a total of £31.8bn in 2025-26.

The watchdog said the tax burden would rise from 34% of gross domestic product to 35% in 2025-26, "its highest level since [Labour's] Roy Jenkins was chancellor in the late 1960s".

Mr Sunak told MPs the total package of measures to support the economy - including those previously announced - amounted to £407bn, but warned the unprecedented spending could not continue.

Defending the increase in the tax burden at a Downing Street briefing, he said: I don't think any other chancellors have had to do as much fiscal support for the country as I've had to.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said the UK's tax burden was set to rise to its "highest sustained level" ever.

The point at which people begin paying income tax will increase by £70 to £12,570 in April, but will be maintained at that level until April 2026, meaning more people will become eligible to pay tax as wages increase.

The 40p rate threshold will increase by £270 to £50,270 and then be frozen, with the measures expected to raise almost £8.2bn in 2025-26.


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