Stealth Taxes the first 90
|"Tax till they bleed!"|
Pic: BlackFlag News
New Labour promised not to put up income tax to get elected. So instead of in-your-face direct taxes, Chancellor Gordon Brown gave us new, indirect, Stealth Taxes and he abolished tax concessions. His attempts to fund New Labour's Fat Government Policy have savaged the pensions and savings industries and had cost the nation the equivalent of 16.5 p in the pound on the basic rate of income tax by 2004.
Here is a list of New Labour's first 90 Stealth Taxes with the date of introduction where known.
Tax & Waste Rules, UK!
01 Mortgage Interest Tax Relief At Source (MIRAS) reduced from 15% to 10%
02 Dividend Tax Credits for pension schemes abolished
03 Income tax relief on health insurance abolished
04 Insurance Premium Tax extended to some health insurance
05 Road Fuel Tax escalator increased to 6%
06 Vehicle Excise Duty increased
07 Tobacco duty escalator increased to 5%
08 Stamp Duty raised to 2%
09 Carry back of Corporation Tax losses limited to 1 year
10 Windfall tax on utilities
11 Tax relief for the married couple's allowance (MCA) cut to 10%
12 Top rate of Insurance Premium Tax extended to travel insurance
13 Exceptional increase in tobacco and alcohol duties
14 Duties on casinos and gaming machines raised
15 Road Fuel Tax escalator increase brought forward
16 Tax on company cars increased
17 Tax relief on foreign earnings abolished
18 Tax concessions for certain professions abolished
19 Capital gains tax imposed on certain non-residents
20 Restriction of Capital Gains Tax relief on reinvestment
21 Corporation tax payments on account brought forward
22 Stamp duty increased again
23 Certain hydrocarbon duties increased
24 Additional diesel duties introduced
25 Landfill Tax increased
26 Double tax credits on certain dividends restricted
27 National Insurance Contributions earning limit raised
28 NI Contributions for self-employed increased
29 Tax relief of Married Couple's Allowance abolished
30 MIRAS abolished
31 Self-employed contractors to pay NI and income tax as if employees
32 Company car business mileage discount limited
33 Double escalator on tobacco duties
34 Insurance Premium Tax increased to 5%
35 Vocational training relief abolished
36 Employer NI Contribution base broadened to include all benefits in kind
37 VAT on some banking services increased
38 Tax on reverse premiums paid to tenants by landlords introduced
39 Duty on domestic fuel oils up
40 Vehicle Excise Duty for lorries increased
41 Landfill tax escalator introduced
42 Stamp Duty rates raised again to 2.5/3.5%
43 Tobacco duties increased above inflation
44 Stamp duty raised for 4th time, scope of duty extended
45 Extra taxation of life assurance companies
46 Rules on tax havens tightened up
47 Company car taxes raised
The Chancellor gives the exhausted nation a year off no new stealth taxes!
48 Personal tax allowances frozen
49 National Insurance threshold frozen
50 NI Contributions for employers raised
51 NI Contributions for employees raised [Class 1 up 1%]
52 NI Contributions for self-employed raised
53 North Sea taxation increased
54 Duty on some alcoholic drinks raised
55 Stamp duty thresholds frozen
56 Tax relief on investment in film industy restricted
57 Rules on corporate debt tightened
58 Nil-rate threshold for inheritance tax raised by less than the rate of inflation
59 VAT imposed on electronically supplied services
60 Domestic staff on £89/week to pay NI & income tax, employers to pay NI
61 Betting duty increases
62 Tax on red diesel and fuel oil increased
63 Anti-tax haven rules tightened to cover more UK firms with Irish subsidiaries
64 Vehicle excise duty raised
65 Personal tax allowances frozen again
66 £35 added to all fines and £3 added to the cost of a home insurance policy
67 Price of petrol raised 7p per gallon (with the VAT)
68 Up to 8 times increase in the stamp duty on leases for retail premises
69 Airport Tax doubled
70 40% extra Council Tax on second homes was sneaked in while the Westminster Wonders were breaking up for their hols a whole week before Xmas.
Additional info : It has been pointed out that a number of councils gave an even bigger discount for second homes and the increase for some people can be 80%. Plus the usual 6-18% annual rise, depending on how bloated the council's operations have become.
Exemptions may be granted if the second home owner (1) has to live somewhere because of his/her employment, (2) the dwelling comes with the job, or (3) there are special threat/security reasons involved. All of which excuses apply to 10, Downing Street, the home of a certain Mr. Anthony B. Liar. (Thanks to M.K.)
71 £60 per day fine for late submission of self-assessment income tax forms
72 Traffic wardens to receive powers to impose fines for a whole bunch of offences to keep poor people off the roads. The offences will include parking more than 19 inches from the kerb (£100) and dithering by people who are lost over, and who don't know whether to make a turn or keep straight on
73 A 'Victims Fund' surcharge fine on everyone who passes through the courts. £5 for speeding up to £30 for murder.
74 Legal Aid for the middle classes abolished
75 £40 per week charge to middle-class parents for formerly free nursery places
76 £200 per year charge to middle-class parents for places on formerly free school buses
77 £250 per hour charge from the fire brigade for non-fire-related call-outs, e.g. clearing up after road accidents and rescuing pussy cats from trees
78 £550 tax rise (at standard rate) for people using a company van or people-carrier out of work time
79 Council Tax will rise at least 7.4% next year (according to the Budget)
80 The tax incentive for owner-operator small businesses to become companies abolished
81 Tax on cross-border payments for goods and services between multi-divisional companies extended to transactions within the UK
82 Tax on trusts up from 34% to 40%
83 Duty on red diesel up 1p/litre above inflation (57% rise)
84 Duty on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used as fuel up 1p/litre above inflation (45% rise)
85 Personal allowances for taxpayers under 65 frozen
86 PEPs and ISAs containing shares lose their tax break on dividends and the annual ISA allowance cut by £2,000 to £5,000
87 The 100% tax allowance for small businesses & self-employed on new computer/advanced telephone equipment cut to 50% for 2004/5 tax year
88 Passports – in addition to costing twice as much as the present price of £42, the new 'biometric data' passports will be valid for half as long. They will have to be renewed every 5 years instead of every 10 years, which doubles the cost yet again.
89 £100 per year 'lighthouse tax' on small boats over 8 metres long. Commerial shipping lines think they should pay £2.6 million per year towards the annual £73 million cost of maintaining lighthouses and navigational equipment.
90 Council Tax bills to rise a further £110 in the affected areas to pay for 'Two Jags' Prescott's regional assemblies
|"Gimme the dosh!"|
Further Stealth Taxes
[This section also contains more detail on some of the taxes listed above.]
Accident Tax September 2004 Building on the success of the Vehicle Insurance Premium Tax (see below), which raises £105 million per year, the government is planning to extend the idea to accidents in the workplace. The government hopes to raise a further £150 million per year from insurance companies when people are treated in NHS hospitals after accidents at work. Employers can expect their liability insurance premiums to rise by 5%. Some firms have already seen their premiums rise by 20-50% in 2003/4 thanks to the current compensation culture. The rate of business failure is expected to increase steeply when this new stealth tax is imposed.
Air Passenger Duty (a.k.a. Skyway Robbery) December 2006 Doubled from February 2007 in the pre-budget statement. This is (im)purely a tax on travelling and nothing to do with saving the planet. The rates will be £10 for shorthaul flights rising to £80 for longhaul flights.
Business Rates September 2005 As a result of a revaluation of commercial premises, which the government promised would be 'revenue neutral', business rates will rise by 8% this year 3 times inflation. Businesses, and their customers, will have to find £1,200,000,000 to throw into the Chancellor's Black Hole.
Coarse Fishing School Tax The licence cost £12.25 in 2007 and went up to £16.75 for 2008.
Childcare @ School Tax New Labour wants all schools to stay open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. by 2010 to allow mothers to work. The scheme has to be self-financing, so as a consequence, schools will have to charge for all out-of-hours activities, e.g. outings, sports coaching, and dance and music classes.
Company Vehicle Taxes These taxes have been raised by increasing charges on both cars and fuel, and also by reducing high-mileage discounts.
Computer Tax (March 2006 Budget small print) Anyone who uses a computer at work for checking personal emails or private pottering on the internet, and anyone who uses a company PC or laptop at home, will be liable to pay the Computer Tax unless they can prove to the Revenue Dept. beyond a shadow of a doubt that the computer is used for work only and nothing else.
A £2,000 computer bought after 2006/04/06 will cost employees in the higher income tax band £160 more per year, and the employer will have to pay an extra £51.20.
Congestion Charging This scam raised a lot of cash in London and other big cities are wondering about cashing in.
June 2005 Congestion Charges for rush-hour trains. Apparently, the Department of Transport has this weird notion that only rich people travel by train and paupers use buses. So they don't think any Labour supporters will be affected. The tax is necessary because the rail companies have been doing too good a job of selling their product and road pricing is expected to force a large number of poor motorists off the roads. Eventually, the government hopes to introduce Congestion Charging for pedestrians to stop people wandering around unnecessarily and make them stay at home, where the government can keep an eye on them with in-home CCTV [which will be installed as part of a multi-billion-pound scheme to crack down on antisocial behaviour.].
Corporation Tax The headline rate was cut from 30p to 28p in the 2007 budget but the rate for small companies was increased from 19p to 20p from 2007/04/01. It will rise further to 21p in 2008 and to 22p in 2009.
Gordon Brown says the change is to penalize workers from eastern Europe, who register themselves as companies to avoid paying income tax when they arrived in the UK. But instead of closing this loophole, he has chosen to increase the tax burden by stealth on all small companies.
Dental Tax 1 Despite increasing National Insurance, which is supposed to pay for the Health Service, the government is forcing dentists out of the NHS system and obliging their customers to seek private treatment via a dental plan costing, typically, £19 per month. [Thanks to N.B. for this one.]
Dental Tax 2 2006/04/01 The cost of a dental checkup on the NHS rose threefold from £5.54 to £15.50. The cost of a filling went up fourfold to £42.40 and the price of a gold crown doubled to £189.
'Didn't Vote' Tax July 2005 Geoff 'Buff' Hoon, former Defence Minister, wants to make voting compulsory at general elections so that New Labour can impose a fine on anyone who exercises their former democratic right not to vote for any of the unappealing candidates.
Disorder Tax May 2005 The government would like every business licences to sell alcohol in designated 'Disorder Zones' to hand over £100/week to pay for extra policing to handle 'drink-fuelled violence'. "The scheme will let local councils and police forces run legalized protection rackets," commented a likely victim of the tax.
Dividend Tax Credit This allowance was abolished in 1997, reducing income to charities, pension funds and anyone living on income from dividends. Pension funds and non-taxpayera can no longer recover the tax credit on income from UK dividends. The effect has been described as compound interest in reverse as pension contributions must be increased to provide the same level of benefits.
Driving Licences The cost of the driving test written test and the driving test itself have been increasing relentlessly, and now there is a charge for changing from a provisional licence to a full licence. [Thanks to N.B. for this one.]
Driving Licence Photocard Tax : From 2008, driving licences will have to carry a photograph to comply with EU regulations. The government is offering 3 options:
1. An extra charge of £3 for everyone, which is expected to rise to £10 very quickly;
2. First-time drivers will pay for everyone and the cost of a driving licence will rise from £38 to £68; and
3. The cost of a driving licence will rise to £45 and the cost of registering a new car will rise from £38 to £45.
Europe Tax In 2007/08, Britain will pay £4.1 billion to the European Union. In 2008/09, we have to pay £6.1 billion, which becomes £6.4 billion in 2009/10.
This is a direct consequence of Gordon Brown's policy of surrendering the rebate won by Mrs. Thatcher and getting nothing in return.
Excise Duty Consistently raised above the rate of inflation on tobacco and alcohol, tax of fuel and fares.
Fines, More Widespread Use Everything from motoring offences, anti-social behaviour, truancy and binge drinking is seen as a means of raising revenue by New Labour.
Fiscal Drag Gordon Brown, seeking to fill the monstrous Black Hole which he has created in the nation's finances, is adjusting tax bands relative to an inflation rate which has been massaged down rather than the rate of increase of earnings. As a result, 3 million of the 28 million taxpayers are paying the 40% rate, an increase of around 10% since Gordon Brown became Chancellor.
Fiscal drag includes Stamp Duty on property purchases, which is now at five times the 1997 level (£3,600 million compared to £675 million) and twice as many people are paying it as in 1997 (1,200,000 versus 607,000).
Inheritance Tax is another growth area. Thanks to the government's failure to allow for rising house prices, it has risen 75% since 1997 to £2.8billion per year.
Income tax has doubled under New Labour due to Fiscal drag – Chancellor Brown's policy of not raising tax thresholds year by year. The amount of income tax for 2006/07 will reach 109% of the amount raised in 1996/97. [£145 billion compared to £69 billion]
Free Travel Tax Gordon Brown announced free off-peak travel for people of 60 and older in the 2006 budget. But he failed to provide the cash to pay for the scheme. So Council Tax and/or fares had to go up to bridge the gap.
Home Information Pack Tax July 2005 From 2007/06/01, New Labour will require home owners to give prospective buyers details of their dwelling's structural condition, title deeds, energy-use efficiency, planning consent status (if applicable), e.g. for a conservatory, and details of guarantees for central heating, double glazing, etc. Reports for the packs will be compiled by 7,500 home inspectors, who will join New Labour's vast army of public servants with jobs that make them indebted to the Labour party.
March 2006 The information in these packs will be 'stored electronically' and made available to inspectors looking for excuses to raise the Council Tax on homes which have been improved or repaired, and homes on which the owner has spent a lot of cash to keep them well maintained.
April 2006 Home Information Packs will also attract VAT at the full rate of 17.5% on top of the £1,000 cost in line with New Labour's disgraceful policy of applying taxes on top of taxes.
June 2006 The packs won't include information on:
rights of access affecting security and the safety of children; and
The main purpose of the HIP is to provide the Treasury with £111 million/year from VAT on HIPs and Energy Performance Certificates.
Identity Tax After getting us used to Stealth Taxes, the government wants to give its customers Stealth ID cards by building personal data into passports and driving licences, which will cost at least £35 more than the current price as they will become multi-purpose documents. Anyone who doesn't drive and who isn't planning to go aboard will be required to buy a straight ID card for £35.
October/November 2004 The idea of adding biometric data to passports and driving licences to turn them into identity cards has been junked. The latest big idea to come out of the Home Office is a stand-alone biometric ID card. Everyone will have to have one, paying a Stealth Tax of £35, but no one will be obliged to carry it.
So anyone wanting a passport in and after 2007 will have to pay £85 for a non-biometric passport, which will be valid for 5 years. The price includes the £35 Stealth Tax for a biometric ID card, which will be valid for 10 years. [See also Stealth Tax 88 above.]
At present, a passport valid for 10 years costs £42. As a result of the changes and Stealth Taxes, travellers wanting the same deal will have to pay £135 for two 5-year passports plus a 10-year biometric ID card.
May 2005 : The government's first guess was £5.8 billion for the cost of the ID card scheme. A more realistic estimate is that the cost is on course for being 3 times as much at around £18 billion. And if the scheme has to be self-financing, the government will have to charge £300 per card! If the government chooses to conceal the true cost of the card by sneaking in taxpayers' money from another account, then card-holders can still expect to be ripped off. This year's guess for the cost of a card is £93, which is 20% up on the guess for 2004. So the likely price in 2008, when everyone applying for one of the new biometric passports will be obliged to get an ID card as well, is £160.
December 2005 : The price of a standard passport was raised from £42 to £51.
March 2006 : Identity cards may not be compulsory just yet, but anyone who applies for a passport in 2008, but chooses not to have an ID card as well, will still be charged £93. Up to 6 million people face being ripped off for an ID card which they don't want but have to pay for.
Additional facts :
The government expects ID cards to become compulsory in 2013.
People will have to go to a data collection centre at some central point and spend anything up to an hour being measured plus time spent hanging around waiting to be measured.
Biometric ID cards will have to be renewed every 5 years as iris and facial scans will have to be updated to take account of changes in the owner's appearance.
The Home Office says that card readers will cost £250-750. A more realistic estimate of the cost is £3,0000-4,000 each.
Processing a card and its owner will take about a minute. So anyone at the back of a queue of 30 people will have to hang around for half an hour assuming everything goes smoothly with the verification process for the other people in the queue.
July 2006 : The price of a standard passport will be raised from £51 to £66 on October 5th, an annual rate of increase of 62%. Part of the increase is to pay for biometric identity-card data, even though New Labour's ID card plans are in disarray and unlikely to be implemented as planned.
December 2006 : Fines connected with ID cards will go to the government's coffers for general spending, not toward running the ID card scheme. They will include £1,000 for failing to surrender a dead relative's card within an arbitrary period and the same amount for failing to supply 'all current addresses', which is aimed at students living away from home.
There will be a £30 fee for a new ID card for married women who take their husband's name, which is expected to generate £9 million per year, and the same fee for a replacement driving licence to replace one lost or stolen, which is expected to yield £30 million per year.
May 2007 : The latest guestimate of the 10-year cost of the ID card scam has gone up by £840 million since last October to a new total of £5.75 billion. This guess excludes an additional £510 million on the Foreign Office budget to cover the cost of consular services associated with issuing ID cards abroad. The guestimate also excludes the cost of installing ID card readers at social security offices, at GP's surgeries for registering new patients, etc.
The latest increase raised the estimated cost of an ID card by £12 to an eye-watering £105.
June 2007 : From October, the price of a standard passport will rise to £72 (up £6), the premium 'same day' service will cost £114 (up £6), the fast-track 'within a week' service will cost £97 (up £6) and a child's 5-year passport will cost £46 (up £1).
Hospital Car Parking Our correspondent C.O. has pointed out: "At our local hospital, parking over the last four years has increased from £1 per 24 hours (come and go, midnight to midnight) to £2 (maybe more now) for every visit of more that 30 minutes." This is a shameless tax on the sick.
Information Tax The Chancellor is planning fees of £50-575 for material made available when the Freedom of Information Act comes into force in January 2005. The fees will be 666% to 958% higher than those given in the Bill which Tony Bliar and his cronies placed before Parliament.
Inheritance Trust Tax From 2006 Anyone who tries to pass on savings and property (all taxed to the hilt by New Labour) via a trust will have to pay out 6% of the inheritance every 10 years plus massive entry and exit penalties. New tax changes will force a change in the inheritance age from 25 down to 18 if people want the trust to remain tax-free. The tax will attack life insurance police. It will also grab from the assets of those who die intestate and terminally ill people who make a settlement, and also from trusts created as a result of court orders arising from divorce cases.
There will be a Will Tax as a spin-off from the trust tax as a million or so people will have to have their will redrafted to take account of the new tax laws at an average cost of £250 a time.
June 2006 Chancellor does U-turn
1. The exemption allowing assets left to a spouse in a trust in a will is to stay free of Inheritance Tax.
2. Children receiving the contents of a trust will be liable 'only for a small tax change' if they inherit between the ages of 18 and 25. The charge will still be 6% for every 10 years but the clock will start when the child reaches 18, not when the trust is set up.
The remaining tax grabs remain in place.
Licensing & Registration Fees Thanks to New Labour's willingness to go along with any new red tape that the Eurocrats of Brussels dream up, more and more people are having to pay a registration fee for being allowed to do their job doormen, electricians and school dinner ladies to name but a few. And homeowners, who allow a job to be done by someone who isn't licensed to carry out electrical work in the home, are liable to be fined. Certification costs £ 877.50 and there is an annual renewal fee of £405.38. As usual, the consumer gets a bigger bill as someone has to pay for all the red tape.
Further, the cost of registering care homes, and the enforcement of new regulations, have both increased by huge amounts. As a result, many care homes have simply gone out of business and the rest are having to charge much larger fees.
Even further, pubs, clubs, restaurants, takeaway shops which serve food after 11 p.m., concert halls, village halls and any venue which holds events at which drinks are served are all required to renew their licence this year because New Labour changed the rules in 2003/4. And as this process involves a lot wrestling with jargon-filled forms, and time is running out for the August 2005 deadline for filing applications, there's a shambles in the making.
Anyone who misses the August deadline will find things get a whole lot more complicated for the October filing date, and the government will require them to jump through a lot more hoops. Worse, as processing the forms involves a lot of work, councils will have to shove up their Council Tax to pay for it. [Thanks to V.M. for this theme.]
Manure Recycling Tax Riding stables and other businesses using horses have to buy a licence to make compost (used as fertiliser) from horse manure. And from 2005/07/01, businesses doing so will have to spend thousands of pounds on installing a leakproof concrete flooring beneath muck heaps with a sealed holding tank for the liquid which runs off.
The average horse produces around 9 metric tons of manure per year. Muck heaps of between 5-50 metric tons will cost £252 for the first year and £174 for subsequent years. Heaps of 50-400 metric tons will cost £482 for the first year then £402 per year. Manure has been composted and spread on farmland for thousands of years. It has taken New Labour until 2005 to identify this source of a new stealth tax. [Thanks to V.M.]
Married Couples' Allowance This allowance cut further in 1998 (after being reduced by the Tories) and abolished completely in 1999.
Mortgage Interest Relief Cut in 1997 then abolished in 2000.
NHS Creeping Privatization In 2008, the average family pays £3,850 per year to the NHS PLUS a further £1,200 extra for dental treatment, services from opticians, nursing care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and everything else which New Labour has decided won't be "free at the point of use".
National Insurance The rates were increased by 1% plus a new charge on income above the previous upper cut-off limit.
National Lottery, The Chancellor Gordon Brown is breaking the rules for the lottery by diverting profits to the NHS and Education. This money should be raised by direct taxation and stealing from lottery funds reflects New Labour's fundamentally dishonest attitude to taxation. And what next? A lottery precept to pay for the illegal war in Iraq?
June 2005 The government has already diverted National Lottery cash to irregular purposes such as training teachers and school librarians, buying hospital equipment, buying fruit for school meals and the Jamie Oliver school meals improvement plan. The next step is using the National Lottery Bill 2005 to take formal government control of the Big Lottery Fund, which distributes one-half of lottery profits. The Bill will allow government ministers to set the amounts of grants and specify which causes can have a grant.
In 1997, Tony Blair said: "We do not believe it would be right to use lottery money to pay for things (health, education & the environment) which are the government's responsibility." But he seems happy enough about breaking that promise in 2005.
Noisy Pub Tax October 2006 Pubs & clubs which create a noise nuisance between 23:00 and 07:00 on one single nice face either an on-the-spot fine of £500 or a fine of up to £5,000 if prosecuted successfully. The tax is a form of apology from New Labour for wishing a 24-hour drinking culture on the country.
Passport Tax The government's ambition used to be to build identity card data into passports but the wheels are coming off this scheme due to practical difficulties over collecting, storing securely and verifying the data. Even though plans to go biometric are in disarray, the price rises to pay for a programme which isn't happening continue to go ahead. Thus the price of a standard passport went up from £42 to £51 in December 2005, and a further increase to £66 on October 5th 2006 was announced in July.
If the government continues with its plans as announced, the price is expected to rise to £85 in 2007 for a passport lasting 5 years instead of 10. Depending on how much biometric data is built in to passport, and how self-supporting the government expects the scheme to be, the price in 2008 is expected to be anything from £93 to a monster £160.
Peak-Time Rail Fare Supplement : When he was Transport Sec. in 2005, Alistair Darling did an under-the-counter deal with new train operator First allowing them to double fares on busy routes in the London area. Cheap day return tickets were rendered invalid between 4:30 and 7 p.m. as a means of forcing poor people off overcrowded trains. South-West Trains also has the same deal for some of its services.
Pensions The Chancellor's assaults on the pensions industry have removed £5billion per year via abolished tax concessions and made worthwhile personal pensions unaffordable for many people.
Pension & Means Testing The more the customer saves, the lower the nett private pension he/she will receive after means testing to determine his/her entitlement to a supplement to the state pension. In effect, savings are taxed at a rate of 40-100% and most people would be better off enjoying a higher standard of life during their working life instead of depriving themselves by saving for their old age.
'Anyone not in the top 40% of earnings is wasting their time putting money into pensions savings if the present policies continue.' Help The Aged
Pension Tax Relief Flexibility rules were abolished to stop people taking advantage of unused allowances from previous years.
Pension Term Assurance Tax Relief December 2006 pre-budget statement To be abolished on new policies and >80% of any pension fund (Alternatively Secured Pension) bequeathed to children to be grabbed by the Treasury.
Planning Tax January 2005 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott wants planning fees to go up. So, for example, the fee for a domestic extension will rise 23% from £110 to £135; the fee for a new house will go up 20% from £220 to £265; and the maximum charge for a housing estate will rocket by 355% from £11,000 to £50,000.
Planning Gain Supplement Tax February 2006 If someone gets planning permission for an extension or a new building, they will have to pay a tax on the increased value of their land right away possibly long before any work is done. The tax is expected to shove another £1 billion into the government's Black Hole.
Poor Performance Penalties When the government's regulators impose fines and poor performance penalties on the railways, the post office, bus companies, etc., fares and prices go up to cover the cost of the penalty. And if the service provider promises to provide a better level of service, the regulator can sanction higher than justified price rises to 'encourage improved service standards'.
Businesses can be hit by all sorts of fines ranging from penalties for failing to meet targets to punitive fines for causing death(s) through negligence. If no particular individual is blamed, and charged separately, then the fine is passed to the customer. Or, if this is not done, then the firm goes out of business, increasing unemployment and its collateral costs, and reducing services still further. [Thanks to V.M.]
Premium Bond Tax : From June 2006, the government is dipping in to the premium bond prize fund to the tune of over £1 million per month. The amount distributed in May was £76.6 million. The amount due for distribution in June is just £75.4 million as a result of a stealth tax of £1.2 million.
Premium Rate Phone Lines Nine government departments (at the last count) are using 0870 lines as their sole means of direct contact by the public, who are charged 10p/minute for calling from a landline or up to 35p/minute from a mobile phone. HM Revenue & Customs collected £2.4 million from its 0870 numbers in 2005 and the DVLA "help line" raked in £2.3 million. The Home Office, the DTI, the Foreign Office, the Dept. of Education & Skills, the Dept. for Constitutional Affairs and DEFRA are also operating this scam.
Some departments, our correspondent M.K. lists the Inland Revenue and the Pensions Service, use the 'soft premium' 0845 numbers, which cost ntl customers 5p/minute on a landline from October 2006 plus the rip-off connection charge.
Recycling Tax, Failure to Recycle August 2004 The government is planning to fit scales on all refuse control vehicles. All unsorted rubbish – the stuff that doesn't go in one of the recycling bins/bags – will be weighed and the householder will be charged an appropriate additional fee for removing it.
Repeat Prescription Tax Prescriptions last only 56 days now. Previously, they lasted up to 112 days so costs for some people have doubled. The logic, apparently, is that people often don't take all of their tablets; BUT it still means that those who do have doubled costs. And it means twice the work for hard-pressed GPs. [with thanks to our correspondent S.M.]
September 2005 Our correspondent M.K. adds: "I was recently prescribed a new drug by my doctor who, when asked if he could supply me with 2 months worth, said that NICE guidelines prevented this. In other words, I will have to pay for 2 prescription charges instead of 1 per 2 month cycle. I call this a really stealthy tax increase."
Road Tax Is consistenly raised above the rate of inflation.
Savings Credit Tax : Pensioners with a low income and modest savings receive a savings credit on every pound of income between the basic state pension and the guaranteed minimum pension (currently £114.05 per week). Chancellor Gordon Brown is planning to increase the basic pension in future years but use fiscal drag to reduce the amount awarded as the savings credit. As a result, pensioners on low incomes can expect to see their total pension drop in the period between 2007 and 2050.
Showroom Tax : Announced in the March 2008 Budget as a Green Tax, it will add up to £950 to the price of the least fuel-efficient vehicles while doing nothing for the environment, as it is just another Stealth Tax needed to fill part of the Brown Hole in the nation's finances.
Small Sailing Craft Tax A registration fee on all previously unregistered small sailing craft as an 'anti-terrorism', cash-raising wheeze.
Soot Tax In some Fire Brigade areas, anyone who has a chimney fire, and who can't produce a Certificate of Chimney Sweeping issued by a member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, will be charged a call-out fee.
Speed Cameras The money raised from them is either used to buy more cameras or paid to the Treasury. As the government has no intention of removing cameras from sites where the death and serious injury rate rises after the camera is installed, it is obvious that speed cameras are there to raise revenue by stealth rather than to improve road safety.
February 2005 The revenue from speed camera fines in 2003/4 was up 63% compared to receipts in 2002/3.
Stakeholder Pension Tax November 2004 Having stolen £5 billion per year from pension funds every year since 1997, the Chancellor is planning to make employer contributions to its stakeholder pensions compulsory, which will cost the country an estimated £22 billion per year and constitute a Stealth Tax on jobs.
Stamp duty The rate of this tax has been pushed up since 1997 but the thresholds have been maintained at unrealistic levels, given the large increases in house prices. The lowest threshold was a mere £60,000 until the 2005 Budget, when it was raised to £120,000. The increase in the £2006 Budget was a paltry £5,000 to the present rate of £125,000.
In 2007, the rates are:
No tax on house sales up to £125,000
1% on houses valued at £125,000 to £250,000
3% on houses valued at £250,000 to £500,000, and
4% on houses valued at over £500,000.
The Halifax bank has calculated that if the thresholds had been raised in line with the rise in house prices since 1997, the £250,000 threshold would be £680,000 and the £500,000 threshold would be £1,360,000.
Compared to 2001, the Chancellor thieved an extra £2.5 billion from house sales in 2006.
State Second Pension Tax 1 : The government is planning to limit the amount paid out as the State Second Pension (S2P) but not the amount raked in as National Insurance contributions. At present, NI collected on income up to £34,000 counts towards the S2P. New Labour plans to collect NI at the same rate on income above this threshold, but not provide further pension benefits in return. Thus all contributions above the S2P threshold will become just another Stealth Tax.
State Second Pension Tax 2 : At present, people have the right to contract out of the S2P and have the NI contributions paid into a private pension. Gordon Brown intends to abolish this concession.
Tax-free savings The upper level for savings which can be made in each year has been reduced relentlessly. The limit for PEPs/TESSA was £12,000 (£9,000 for PEPs and £3,000 for the first year of a TESSA). They were replaced with the ISA and an annual limit of £7,000, now reduced to £5,000. And PEPs and ISAs can no longer recover the tax credit on UK dividends.
Time Limits The time limits for paying many fines, e.g. those for speeding and parking, have been drastically reduced. As a result, the government is taxing more people with its increased ranges of fines and also extracting charges for late payments. [Thanks to V.M. for this one.]
Utility charges The prices of gas, electricity, water, public transport, the BBC licence fee, etc. are all being allowed to soar above the rate of inflation.
VAT Every time the government raises the duty on tobacco, fuel, vehicles, etc., there is always VAT to pay on top.
Vehicle Insurance Premium Tax In 1999, the law was changed to let NHS trusts reclaim treatment costs from motor insurance companies in cases where fault had been established and compensation paid. Insurance premiums have risen by at least £5 per year to pay for the charging regime.
Before 1999 hospitals could only recoup £21 from road accident victims towards the cost of their treatment. The 1999 act set fixed rates of more than £400 per day for patients who were not admitted, and more than £500 for those forced to stay in hospital.
In March 2004, the rates were raised, allowing hospitals to recover up to £34,800 per case. As a result some major hospitals are now claiming more than £500,000 a year from insurance companies. In effect, patients are now paying twice for the NHS through both taxes and increased insurance premiums.
Vehicle Recovery Tax At the time of writing (May 2007), motorists have to pay £105 to recover stolen and broken down vehicles, which the police have taken into custody. The government is planning to increase this tax by 45% to £150. Worse, the rate charged for vehicles stored by the police, currently £12/day, will rise to £20/day inside the M25 circle, and £15/day outside the M25 circle.
Vehicle Registration Tax September 2004 An annual registration fee of £4.50 per year for all cars whether or not they are on the road.
Vehicle Tracking Tax May 2005 In exchange for cuts (not abolition) in fuel tax and the cost of the road fund licence, motorists will have to pay several hundred pounds to have their vehicle fitted with a tracking device, which will record where they go using a satellite navigation system. They will then have to pay (monthly?) anything from 2p/mile on rural roads to £1.34/mile for inner London.
The scheme will cost £3 billion per year to run and the government is lying about it already, saying it will be 'revenue neutral'. At present, Britain's motorists pay £40 billion/year in taxes, of which only £6 billion is spent on the road network.
'Victims of Domestic Violence' Tax April 2007 Motorists and anyone else fined in a court will have to pay a surcharge of £15 to a fund 'to help the victims of domestic violence'. None of the cash will go to actual victims in the form of compensation. The money will go to counsellors, lawyers and court officials. Violent criminals, if sent to gaol, will not have to pay this stealth tax.
Local Council Taxes
Council Tax : The government has a stealth policy of cutting grants to local councils while giving them more to do, and thus loading council tax as a means of keeping income tax rates artificially low. By 2006, Council Tax had doubled since 1997 and the arrival of New Labour.
July 2004 The government has ambitions to set a Council Tax rate in excess of £6,000. Paying a rate support grant, or its equivalent, has always been a headache for central government. Which is why this one is planning to make councils raise most of their revenue locally and just apply modest 'top ups'. The plan is also a cynical exercise in putting cash into the pockets of Labour voters at the expense of Tory voters. Anyone who has been living in the same house for decades while neighbouring properties change hands at crazy prices will have to give up their friends and move to somewhere cheaper.
January 2005 The latest adjustments to the Council Tax will see homes in traditional Tory areas pushed into the next higher band while those in traditional Labour-supporting areas will remain largely in the same band.
Asylum Seeker Tax : February 2005 The Government promised to pay local authorities the cost of looking after asylum seekers but it has failed to pay out the cash. As a result, the councils affected will have to add what amounts to an Asylum Seeker Tax to their bills. In Kent, for instance, this will mean a Council Tax rise of 3.7% on top of the next planned rise to bridge the gap.
Complaint Processing Fees : Home owners can now complain to their council if a neighbour refuses to trim leylandii hedges over 2 metres tall. But the council will charge a fee for dealing with the complaint varying from £20 to as much as £550 in South Glamorganshire. The amount of the fee will be what the council thinks it can get away with rather anything much to do with the real cost of the work.
Conservation Area Tax : £600 on Council Tax for everyone who happens to live in a conservation area. This is another of the 'value significant' codes being added to the computer model for the coming Council Tax revaluation exercise for England & Wales.
Council Employee Pension Tax : May 2005 £20 per year will be added to Council Tax bills to meet shortfalls in over-generous local government pension plans.
Drinks Licence Processing Tax : August 2005 The government made the form for applying for a new-style drinks licence so complicated that applicants put off filling them in. The fee for the new licence was also set high enough to encourage applicants to file at the last minute.
As a result, the licence processing departments of local councils have been overwhelmed and the global cost of issuing new-style drinks licences will be £20-30 million per year for the next 2 years.
The extra cash will have to be raised via an increase in Council Tax if the government fails to allocate additional support, and/or general taxation if the government refuses to re-allocate cash within existing budgets.
Grave-Robbing Tax : July 2006 Buried under the cover of the World Cup coverage, the Communities Sec. has sneaked out a new rule allowing local councils to seize inherited properties if they are still empty 6 months after the death of the owner. The council will have the right to break into the house, carry out alternations/refurbishment, and let it out as social housing.
Home Improvement Tax : June 2005 Home improvements have not been included in previous Council Tax revaluations but, on the orders of Deputy Prime Minister John 'Two Jags' Prescott, they will be included in the revaluation exercise which will set C-Tax bills for 2007. The list includes loft conversions, conservatories, extra bathrooms, summer houses, sheds, swimming pools, garden areas converted for off-street parking and anything else the tax-gatherers can think of. All of the above should have been reported to the council's planning department for permission. Anyone who dared to improve their home without permission will be hit with a massive fine in addition to the H.I. Tax.
Hooligan Tax : £10 or more on the annual Council Tax bill to pay for sorting out the extra incapable and violent drunks wished onto the streets by New Labour's 24-hour drinking culture.
House Name Tax : February 2006 At the time of writing, 9 councils in Wiltshire and Somerset are charging a fee of £80-£160 for registering a name for a house or re-registering the house with a different name.
When the next council tax revaluation process eventually happens, every council in the land will join in, classing a name applied to a house with other added-value elements such as a conservatory, a nice view and convenient access to public transport or another amenity.
Licensing Tax #1 : An unspecified increase in Council Tax to pay for the cost of processing extra applications for drinks licences and the cost of inspecting licensed premises to enforce the new rules associated with New Labour's 24-hour drinking culture.
Licensing Tax #2 : The drinks licence for licensed premises, which used to cost £10 per year, will cost £1,905 for the first year under the new rules and £1,050 per year to renew.
Location Supplement : November 2005 The government's plan to revalue properties in England for Council Tax purposes will include a computer-generated premium based on the dwelling's 'extras' and location. If the computer thinks the house has a view of the sea, a park or other open space, a lake, mountains, etc., then the owner will be charged more C-Tax.
Anyone with a conservatory, a large patio, a swimming pool, tennis courts, more than the average number of bedrooms or a big garden will suffer the same fate. As will anyone living in a 'quiet' area or near facilities such as tennis courts, a swimming bath, a golf course, etc.
New Legislation & Ageing Population Tax : January 2006 Councils in England need an extra £2.8 billion to cover the cost of new legislation from Whitehall and the needs of an ageing population. The government is offering £600 million more; over half of this sum is needed for pensions and one-quarter is aimed at asylum seekers; which leaves a deficit of £2.2 billion. This is the equivalent of a 10% rise (£100) in the average annual council tax bill.
Parking, Car Parks : The cost of using local authority car parks has risen 51% since 1997.
Parking, Residential Parking Permit Charges : As a result of the government's failure to solve congestion, people are being charge for parking in front of, or close to, their own homes.
Road Works Tax : Utility companies will have to pay fines if roadworks overrun and if they fail to give enough notice of plans to dig up roads. They will also have to pay extra charges for a road works licence if the road was dug up in the previous 5 years. The fines and charges will go to the Government and local authorities, and the utility companies will recover these extra costs from their customers Britain's householders. The estimated cost is £50 per year per household.
Rebanding, i.e. working out a new value for each house (in 2007), will result in one-third of households in England paying hundreds of pounds more in Council Tax. This Stealth Tax will raise an extra £2 billion per year from 2007 despite New Labour's pledges that it will be 'revenue neutral' and the winners will balance the losers.
Skip Tax : People can park a car in front of their house in side streets and designated parking areas, but if they put a skip in the road, that's £10 for the council, thank you very much.
Street Litter Control Notice Tax : The Department of the Environment is drawing up a plan which will let councils slap £110 penalty notices on businesses which fail to clean up litter left outside their premises; litter which local councils have been paid to remove via business rates. This penalty is in addition to £80 fines for the people dropping the litter, if caught.
Transport Infrastructure Tax : Our correspondent J.E. reports that:
"Dorset County Council/Purbeck District Council have introduced a policy where householders applying to develop their homes, not only have to pay the normal planning fees, but are required to make 'contributions' (i.e. not a tax) towards:
* General 'Transport Infrastructure Provision'(policy MN21) and
* Transport Improvement to the A351 (policy SS12)
For a relatively small extension to one bed-cottage, making it 2-bed plus a study, this 'contribution' amounts to £1,317.00
See http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=3102 and http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media/pdf/6/b/Nov0610Appendix2_1.pdf
Housebuilders will get stung for thousands of pounds per house, raising the price of new housing."
Vehicle Length Tax : January 2008 Councils which charge people for parking a vehicle outside their own home will allowed to increase this stealth tax for longer vehicles on spurious environmental grounds. The tax will stay the same for vehicles of length 12' 10" or less, it will rise by 50% for vehicles of length 12' 10" to 14' 7" and double for vehicles longer than 14' 7".
Wheely Bin Delivery Tax : January 2008 Anyone who needs a new, or replacement, wheely bin is banned from making a do-it-yourself collection from a council depot under 'elf & safety regulations. Which means that the lucky customer will have to pay a £60 delivery charge into the council's coffers.
New Labour, new ways to take money off you!