The Treasury claims that the average tax burden for all families has fallen, even though the poorest members of society now fall within the income tax net.
A Treasury spokesman said the tax burden on the average family had fallen since 1997.
He said: "This analysis misleadingly claims to represent the average situation, but it is undermined by the carefully-selected assumptions on which it is based."
If there is one body that carefully selects assumptions to craft a favourable impression on statistics, it is Treasury. One wonders if this was a crafted by a cynic, hoping to vent their hypocrisy. The accountants, Smith and Williamson, have argued that the tax burden has risen, and this has occurred. Treasury's argument that it has fallen can be rejected.
If they move home, they can expect to lose more than
half of their annual wages in taxes on income, spending and property,
according to research for The Daily Telegraph by the accountants Smith
The soaring tax burden has been driven largely by the number of people falling into the higher stamp duty tax band on property, along with rising council tax and increases in the National Insurance contributions.
Smith & Williamson estimates that the total taxes paid by a typical family with two children, buying an ordinary terrace house, have soared from 36p in the pound to 54p since 1997.
If this study is correct, the cost of moving house has soared with all of the attendant consequences for social mobility. Less people moving house dries up the supply, and unfulfilled demand chasing fewer goods fuels the housing price bubble. People benefit through remortgages from the increase in equity, and our understanding of how the housing market has been structured by tax policy becomes clearer. New Labour's political economy demands asset price bubbles and debt, at the expense of newcomers to the housing market.
The cheapest method to allow aspirant homebuyers back into the market is to abolish stamp duty.