Wednesday 21 February 2018

James Fitzsimons: We've all done our bit, now companies must pay more

The latest exchequer figures provide little comfort for ordinary taxpayers

James Fitzsimons

It will be alright again – not because they say so, but because of what you do to make it better. A couple of big companies paid a lot of tax in December.

That doesn't make it a new beginning and it certainly isn't the end of our troubles. More income tax was collected in 2012 than ever before, not because the economy is recovering, but because the Government increased income tax in spite of its promises. It just called the tax another name – the universal social charge (USC).

VAT increased too. But the Government increased the standard rate by 2 per cent last year, from 21 per cent to 23 per cent. The VAT take in January will be higher still because of the higher-than-expected retail sales for November and December, compared with 2011. But 2011 was one of the worst years on record since the downturn.

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