Just Taxes: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1914-1979

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This original work explores the politics of British taxation in the twentieth century. By 1979, taxes were taken from almost half of the total national income, and contributed to the political rise of Margaret Thatcher. But the level of taxation had risen from 10% in 1914 to about 25% between the wars, without provoking serious discontent (as in other European countries). It also grew again during the Second World War. This study explores the reasons that the earlier tax increases were accepted, and not those of 1979.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a huge achievement in drawing together a mass of empirical material from a wide variety of sources...and building a technically authoritative and accessible narrative of the history of British taxation in all its incoherent complexity. With this study Professor Daunton has completed a monumental study of the British tax system which will be an authoritative guide, a source of new questions, and a stimulus of future research for many years to come." Ewen A. Cameron, University of Edinburgh, Canadian Journal of History

"...a remarkable achievement." Neil Rollings, University of Glasgow, Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521039796
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2007
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN DAUNTON, FBA, is Fellow of Churchill College and Professor of Economic History in the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
1 The taxing state: an introduction 1
2 'The limits of our taxable capacity': war finance, 1914-1918 36
3 'This hideous war memorial': debt and taxation, 1918-1925 60
4 'Adjusting the particular turns of the different screws': reforming the income tax, 1920-1929 103
5 'The great conflict of modern politics': redistribution, depression and appeasement, 1929-1939 142
6 'The exigency of war': taxation and the Second World War, 1939-1945 176
7 'The mortal blows of taxation': Labour and reconstruction, 1945-1951 194
8 'A most injurious disincentive in our economic system': Conservatives and taxation, 1951-1964 229
9 'Modern and dynamic economic policy': Labour and taxation, 1951-1970 279
10 Rethinking taxation policy: from an opportunity state to an enterprise society, 1964-1979 302
11 'Highly defensible ramparts': the politics of local taxation 339
12 Conclusion 360
App Chancellors of the Exchequer and prime ministers, 1908-1983 370
Bibliography 372
Index 391
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