Do you know why we haven’t left the EU yet? VAT.

Do you know one of the major reasons why Theresa May won’t repeal the 1972 European Communities Act now, when she could? Do you know why they don’t want to leave?

Because amongst all the other reasons such as protecting their nice fat entitlements and pensions, protecting their rich friends, making money from their own companies and continuing to receive large corporate party donations….allegedly….

….there’s VAT.

Yes Value Added Tax.  The tax which affects the poor most and the rich least and which we all hate.

This is why it would seem Theresa May and her government have decided to enshrine all EU law into UK law at the same time as repealing the 1972 act in her ‘Grand Repeal Bill’.

If Theresa May repeals the 1972 Act now, without the ‘Grand Repeal Bill’ backup, we should revert to the position we were in before we ever joined the EEC.  In this case, VAT on home produced goods would disappear overnight, taking with it an enormous chunk of income the government doesn’t have to do any work for.

VAT is an EU tax. It was brought in when we joined the EEC in 1973. It was originally called ‘Purchase Tax’ and the amount it adds to purchases on most things has gone up, and up, and up. VAT under EU law can now not be less than 15% and this government has it set at 20%.

In 1978/79, the UK Government raised £4.9 billion in VAT. This represented 7% of the government’s total revenue. This would be worth £24.5billion today based on historic inflation.

In 2013/14, the estimated VAT receipts for the UK Government were a staggering £105.3 billion. The Institute for Fiscal Studies projects up to 2016/17, when it projects VAT revenues of £120.4 billion.

VAT is the third biggest revenue earner for the government and represents 17% of all government earnings.

Tax revenue sources 2013/14 in £ billion

Income Tax – 157 billion
National Insurance – 107 billion
VAT – 105 billion

Everything else is peanuts in comparison

Corporation Tax – 39 billion
Fuel duties – 27 billion
Alcohol taxes – 19,986
Stamp Duty Land – 9 billion
Capital Gains – 4 billion
Inheritance tax – 3.5 billion
Shares – 3 billion
Insurance premium tax – 3 billion
Air passenger duty – 3 billion
Betting + gaming – 2 billion
Landfill Tax – 1 billion
Petroleum Revenue tax – 1 billion
Climate Change levy – 1 billion
Total HMRC receipts – 0.5 billion
other Gov’t revenue (interest, asset purchase) – 0.1 billion
Total Central gov’t revenue (ANBV) – 0.5 billion

So there you have it.  The government’s VAT revenues could be more important to Theresa May than the will of the people.

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