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Taxing Consumption

Event date
Wednesday, 19 October, 2022
Event time
15:30 to 17:30
Event Type
In-person event
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Tax is currently at the heart of UK public and political debate, at a time of growing poverty and inequality. Based on funding from the abrdn Financial Fairness Trust, NIESR are publishing a new report on how to make the tax system more progressive. It is a vital contribution to one of the key issues in British politics and policy-making.

NIESR will launch the report and hold a roundtable discussion with leading academics and key policy-makers from central government and the devolved regions. This event will be of great interest to researchers, analysts, think tankers, politicians, policy-makers and journalists.

The UK’s income and consumption taxes are progressive, yet asset and income inequality is worsening for many households across the country. This report reviews how a progressive consumption tax (PCT) could be implemented, how the transition from the current system could be taken forward and investigates the distributional consequences of introducing such a tax. It finds that a direct consumption tax can be made revenue neutral and match any degree of income inequality desired by society. A PCT, suitably designed, improves welfare by allowing better consumption smoothing and flexible labour/leisure choice over the lifetime as well as greater wealth accumulation.

The panel will include:

  • Romesh Vaitilingam (Editor-in-chief, Economics Observatory)
  • Arnab Bhattacharjee (Research Lead, NIESR; Professor of Economics, Heriot-Watt University)
  • Cornilius Chikwama (Interim Deputy Director: Economic Strategy, Office of Chief Economic Advisor, The Scottish Government; Honorary Professor, Heriot-Watt University)
  • Umza Khan (Vice Principal - Economic Development and Innovation, University of Glasgow) TBC
  • Larissa Marioni (Senior Economist, NIESR)
  • Martin Weale (Professor of Economics, King’s Business School)


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19 October 2022
15:30 - 17:30


National Institute of Economic and Social Research


Destitution, exclusion, and strategies for well-being
In-person event

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