The last pre-pandemic Budget projected taxes rising to their highest share of GDP since the early 1970s. One underlying reason for higher taxes is weaker economic growth. Before the 2008 financial crisis it was widely assumed that the trend growth rate of the British economy was around 2.75 per cent.
Taxes & Public Spending. When banks are allowed to create a nation's money supply, we all end up paying higher taxes. This is because the proceeds from creating new money go to the banks rather than the taxpayer, and because taxpayers end up paying the cost of financial crises caused by the banks.
The United Kingdom ranked 23rd¹ out of 38 OECD countries in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio in 2021. In 2021, the United Kingdom had a tax-to-GDP ratio of 33.5% compared with the OECD average of 34.1%. In 2020, the United Kingdom was ranked 25th out of the 38 OECD countries in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio. 1.
Income taxes are lower in the UK due to the progressive rates of tax applying at higher levels of taxable income, but as the UK also has much higher medical contribution taxes than Australia, the UK taxpayer may end up with a higher overall tax burden.
UK income tax rates depend on your income. Currently, the UK basic income tax rate is 20%. This increases to 40% for your earnings above £50,270 and to 45% for earnings over £150,000. Your earnings below £12,570 are tax-free.
This means that in 2022/23 you will pay tax at the rate of 40% on taxable savings income above the limit of £37,700 (again, this is after deducting your personal allowance and blind person's allowance, if eligible). If you are a higher rate taxpayer, you will be eligible for a reduced personal savings allowance.
Housing in Australia is much more expensive than the UK.
Other nations have social security taxes
The main reason Australia ranks so highly on individual income tax levels is because Australians don't pay separate social security taxes. These account for an average 25.9% of total tax revenue, or close to 9% of GDP, across the OECD.
Australia is overall a low-taxing country by international standards, but taxes personal income and corporate profits relatively heavily. However, consumption and land taxes are levied lightly in Australia.
The UK tax system is incredibly unfair. The very high levels of indirect taxes, like VAT and the peculiarities of the Council Tax system mean that the poorest 10% of the population pay about 11% more in tax than the rest of the population. The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.
Out of all major European nations, the UK has only the 17th highest top income bracket at 45%. Most nations vary between 45% and 55% for their highest tax bracket, with Denmark having the highest at 55.89%. The lowest in Europe is Hungary, at just 15%.
The year 1800 would have been a leap year under the Julian calendar system, but not the Gregorian one, so the Treasury treated 1800 as a leap year for purposes of taxation to get an extra day's revenue. April 6 has remained the beginning of the tax year ever since, though it was only formalised in 1900.
Income tax payments are concentrated amongst those with the largest incomes. The 10% of income taxpayers with the largest incomes contribute over 60% of income tax receipts.
Give it away. The biggest single deduction the millionaires made, on average, were donations: $114.4 million in total, or around $1.9 million each, on average. So, more than half of the reduction in their taxable income was giving to tax-deductible causes, such as charities or political parties.
So why is the cost-of-living in Australia so high? One of the major reasons is inflation. A measure for household inflation, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, increased by 2.1% in the first quarter of this year and 5.1% annually, according to data compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank were all in the top 10, paying a combined $8.3 billion in tax. Woolworths won the supermarket wars in 2021, paying $636 million in tax off the back of higher revenue than rival Coles, which paid $445 million.
Australia's GDP, which is roughly $1 trillion, is smaller than that of the United Kingdom.
The UK vs Australia: Salaries. Facts first: Salaries are, on average, 28% higher in Australia than in the UK.
But overall, people in Australia seem to have a better work-life balance than in other developed countries. They are also, much like New Zealand, very open to long sabbaticals or time off earned so you can do gap years abroad without having to pay for price-y tickets home in between.
On a £50,000 salary, your take home pay will be £37,198 after tax and National Insurance. This equates to £3,100 per month and £715 per week.
The most common way is to pay into a pension, which will reduce your tax bill by the top rate of tax. So, if you normally earn £60,000 and pay £10,000 into a pension, this will reduce your tax bill by £4,000. For more information on how to save tax with pensions, check out our pension masterclass.
If you make £50,000 a year living in United Kingdom, you will be taxed £12,444. That means that your net pay will be £37,556 per year, or £3,130 per month. Your average tax rate is 24.9% and your marginal tax rate is 42.7%.