A taboo broken: taxes can be increased

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The self employed will pay more tax in the next few years. It may be in the form of national insurance but let's not quibble because NIC is tax by any other name. Those who use limited companies to avoid PAYE liabilities will also be penalised.

Two issues arise. The first is whether or not this is appropriate. The answer is that the NIC change is, and will not impact most self employed people who earn too little to pay it. As for the tax upon dividends, I think that inappropriate. I see no reason why dividends are so heavily penalised when other unearned income, such as interest, rents and trust distributions, are not: a general surcharge on unearned income to effectively create an NIC charge for those with such income would have made much more sense, but woukd gave upset the landlord classes too much. The Tories know where their hearts really lie, and it's always been with the rentiers and not the entrepreneurs.

The second issue may be more important. The taboo that taxes cannot increase has been broken. Of course they can. And when occasion is right they should. Now, for example, was the occasion for a corporate tax increase. But it did not happen. It will require a better Chancellir to do that.