Property and wealth taxes in the UK: The context for reform

Published Tue 19 Mar 2013
The purpose of this report is to provide a critical assessment of the options for reforming wealth taxes in the UK, drawing on new analysis using the IPPR wealth tax model together with comparative analysis of wealth taxes in other OECD countries.

The case for wealth taxes is often made on theoretical grounds, focusing on arguments of economic efficiency and social justice. While these remain critical arguments, analysis of the political context in which politicians would have to seek to advance reform is often missing. This report aims to provide a more balanced picture of the scope for reforming wealth taxes in the UK.

This report provides a summary of the theoretical case for taxing different forms of wealth - to raise revenue, advance social justice and improve economic efficiency - and highlights the weaknesses of the current UK wealth tax regime, making the case for the reform or replacement of existing council tax, stamp duty and inheritance tax. It then examines alternative options for reform, and sets out the priorities for further analysis and policy development, which will be taken up in future publications.

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