§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of an average industrial worker's earnings was paid in (a) direct and (b) 791W indirect taxation in 1945, or the earliest convenient date, and in 1976, and whether comparable statistics are available from other OECD countries.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon
The earliest date for which information is available on the burden of indirect taxation on the average industrial worker is 1959. The table below therefore presents a comparison for the years 1959 and 1976. The average industrial worker is assumed to be a married man with two children under 11 years.
PERCENTAGE OF AVERAGE EARNINGS Direct Tax Indirect Taxes 1959 2.8 18.9 1976 23.2 20.4
"Direct tax" comprises income tax and employees' national insurance contributions. Family allowance is treated as an offset to tax. Indirect taxes include employers' national insurance contributions.
No comparable statistics are readily available for other OECD countries. An OECD publication "Revenue Statistics" provides information on tax receipts and occasionally direct tax as a proportion of average earnings. The latest volume refers to 1975.