In a crucial election year, tax is on the agenda for both the Conservatives and Labour. But inevitably the campaign conversation crowds out the bigger questions about why tax matters and whether our system is fit for purpose.
Tax is still perceived as a political taboo, yet it remains a cornerstone in the relationship between the citizen and the state. Our perception of fairness about what we ‘pay in’ shapes our attitudes to society, with wide-ranging repercussions on, for example, our willingness to engage with the democratic process or to trust our elected representatives.
Some 15 years ago, the Fabian Society’s Commission on Tax and Citizenship, chaired by Lord Plant, argued that taxpayers need to feel better ‘connected’ to their taxes and to the public services which they finance. Revisiting this core concept, this collection explores the values and principles of taxation with the aim of encouraging renewed debate.