Mr Osborne’s policy of cutting the budget deficit always relied primarily on a big boost to tax revenues. That is also the policy of his successor, Mr Hammond. Total tax revenue of £604bn in 2014-15 is expected to rise to £699bn in 2017-18. By 2022-23 they want to be taking £815bn from us. In 2009-10, the last Labour year, they collected just £476.4bn. Tax revenue in 2017-18 will be a massive 47% higher.
They expect Capital Gains tax receipts, Stamp duty on shares and self assessment Income tax to fall in 2017-18.The main gains in 2017-18 are forecast to come from National Insurance and environmental levies assisted by PAYE Income Tax and VAT. There is a substantial reduction in forecast for all years for Capital Gains Tax, reaching a £2.3bn fall in 2022-23. Capital Gains will bring in not much more than in the last Labour year before the crash, when rates were lower. There is a reduction in the Stamp Duty land tax forecast revenue in every year as well, reaching a £0.6bn cut in 2022-23.
This is no surprise. The Treasury underestimates how sensitive to the rate of tax these sources of revenue are. Rich people who pay much of the CGT and all of the top end Stamp Duty do not have to undertake a transaction, and are clearly in many cases not doing so because they do not intend to pay the combined high CGT and Stamp Duty charge. The higher rates of Stamp Duty and the maintained higher rate of CGT on property have brought about a substantial reduction in higher priced property turnover, hitting the revenues.
If you want to follow a higher tax revenue strategy on this scale successfully it is important to fix rates that maximise the revenue from each tax source. The Treasury is still struggling with finding out that revenue maximising rates are lower than they think.