I spent a lot of time discussing tax reform yesterday. One of the issues I discussed, more than once, was how overdue tax reform is in the U.K.
Look at the age of U.K. taxes in their current forms.
Income tax in its current largely PAYE form was created in the 1940s.
So too was National Insurance.
Corporation tax and capital gains tax arrived in 1965.
VAT hit these shores in 1973.
Inheritance tax (in the form of capital transfer tax) is a mid 70s creation.
Stamp duty and excise duties are older. So too, in reality, is Council Tax, which is simply rates updated a bit.
I accept we have had some minor new taxes since the 70s. But they are minor. Stand back and what you see is either a tax system so perfectly formed that it can meet the needs of the economy come what may or, alternatively, a tax system so chronically out of date and so ill matched to the economy and society that we now live in that reform is long overdue.
Only one of those two options is true. It is not the first.