The Cameron leadership of the Conservative Party has given up on the tax argument at a time when it is getting increasingly strong and important.
This from today’s Daily Telegraph:
Britain’s ballooning public sector will grow bigger than Germany’s next year for the first time since the early 1970s.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development figures show public spending in the UK will overtake that of Germany in 2007. The crossover will be seen as the latest stage in Britain’s transformation under Gordon Brown into a big government economy.
The OECD says state spending will hit 45.3pc of gross domestic product next year, compared with 45.1pc in Germany. The proportion of the economy accounted for by the Government has risen dramatically under Labour, from a low of 37.5pc of GDP in 2000. The gap will be wider in 2008 since Germany is reducing its public spending.
Britain’s public spending remains far above that of other major economies including the US, where it will be 36.9pc of GDP next year, and Japan, where it will be 36.2pc. But it is far below France’s state expenditure, which will be 53.5pc.
Corin Taylor, head of research at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The OECD has given warning that Britain’s rising tax burden and high public spending is out of step with international practice. Britain’s economy will feel the pinch with businesses and jobs going overseas. The prudent course would be to get a grip on public spending and cut taxes now.”
Peter Spencer, economic adviser to the Ernst & Young Item Club, said: “With public expenditure heading towards 45pc of GDP, the real worry is that a lot of that money is actually borrowing.”
The OECD figures show the rise in the UK’s tax burden over the next two years will be the fourth-biggest in the Western world.