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Britain’s families are ‘most taxed on the planet’

Households with two adults and two children and just one earner are paying 73% in tax, social policy charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) has calculated.

This is made up from income tax, national insurance contributions and means their bill is higher than any other country in the developed world.

After the removal of benefits, CARE calculated households take home just 27p for every £1 earned. This was based on a married couple, with two children, where one parent stays at home while the other goes to work, earning 75% of the average wage.

"Our tax system remains very individualistic and insensitive to family responsibility, compared to those of comparable OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries,” said CARE chief executive Nola Leach.

How we compare

The report demonstrates that the UK's marginal effective tax rate – that is to say what people pay per pound earned - is much higher than the countries with the second and third highest tax rates: Ireland (64%) and Canada (61%).

By comparison, Chilean families with one bread-winner pay just 7% tax - the lowest in the developed world, according to CARE's research.

The opposite of the Government’s plan

The UK's tax rate is scuppering it from becoming an "aspiration nation", something championed by the Prime Minister as he closed the Conservative party conference in October.

David Cameron told delegates: "Let us here in this hall, here in this Government, together in this country make this pledge - let's build an aspiration nation. Let's get Britain on the rise.

"Deficit, paid down. Tough decisions, taken. Growth, fired up. Aspiration, backed all the way."

Time for change

CARE believes recognising marriage in the tax system could help. This would "help bring the UK back into line with its international counterparts”, Leach said. But action needs to be taken quickly.

"Time is running out. Leaving the change any later than the March 2013 Budget would provide insufficient time for the new arrangement to get properly up and running before the general election,” she added.

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