I have some sympathy with this statement:
"This analysis misleadingly claims to represent the average situation, but it is undermined by the carefully-selected assumptions on which it is based."
Smith & Williamson estimates that the total taxes paid by a typical family with two children, buying an ordinary terrace house, have soared from 36p in the pound to 54p since 1997.
Well, yes. Only if they move house though and that’s because a hige chunk of it is the stamp duty on a house which has soared in price. So it is very much a cherry picked number.
A Treasury spokesman said the tax burden on the average family had fallen since 1997.
But that I flat out do not believe. It is clearly not true in nominal, monetary terms. I doubt very much if it is true in percentage terms. And if we remember that to spend (even to promise to spend) is to tax, then it most certainly isn’t true. For we’d have to add in to the tax burden all those wonderful promises for the future, like public sector pensions, the future PFI payments and the Trreasury debt itself.