[2023] Motion 20 UK tax-raising measures

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress proclaims that the UK’s tax revenue is too low to fund consistently high-quality public services.

The latest figures show that the UK’s total tax-to-GDP (of 33 per cent) is lower than the OECD average (34 per cent), well below the EU14 average (39 per cent) and significantly less than that in Scandinavia (41 per cent).

Furthermore, while individuals’ taxes are comparable with the OECD average, they are lower than other western European countries. The UK’s social insurance taxes are also below the OECD average.
Corporate profit margins are at their highest in 70 years, but the UK’s corporate taxes are below the OECD average rate. The provision of public services, including welfare support, relies on the fair taxation of people and companies. The UK is taking proportionately less tax than our neighbouring countries and our public services are falling behind as a result.

Congress commends the STUC report Options for Increasing Taxes in Scotland to Fund Investment in Public Services and instructs the General Council to prepare a similar report for the UK by Congress 2024.

The report should include, but not be limited to:
i. how companies of all sizes could pay a larger and fairer share of taxation
ii. how taxation (including social insurance) may be increased in a more progressive manner
iii. how Scandinavian and other Western countries configure their taxation and social insurance systems, outlining the benefits to public investments arising from such higher rates of investment
iv. recommendations on closing tax loopholes at the UK level.

Educational Institute of Scotland