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Tax for our times: How the left can reinvent taxation

Tax reform needs to be put back in the hands of the many and this collection offers perspectives on reimagining tax for modern times.


The UK’s tax system isn’t fit for purpose and specialists across the board agree on the need for reform. But for too long a serious conversation about tax has been hidden from the public, with the debate dominated by either political ruses or remote technocracy. Crucially, in a context where talking tax is seen as politically illegitimate, we have forgotten what tax is for.

This collection of essays explores how the left can reimagine the tax system for modern times, so that it is more progressive, more transparent and more efficient, and helps shape a fairer society and more productive economy.

In a globalised world, tax is no longer simply a question within national borders alone, so this collection draws on international comparisons throughout. Importantly it considers how to bring the public into the conversation. Tax reform should neither be locked away by politicians from public view, nor left to the expert few: it needs to be put back in the hands of the many.

With chapters by:

  • Fran Bennett, senior research and teaching fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford
  • Adam Corlett, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation
  • Patrick Diamond, research director at Policy Network
  • Howard Glennerster, emeritus professor of social policy and an associate at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics
  • Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian Society
  • Ann Mumford, reader in taxation law at Kings College London
  • Richard Murphy, director at Tax Research LPP and adviser to the Tax Justice Network and the Trade Union Congress
  • Faiza Shaheen and Beck Smith, Save the Children
  • Tony Travers, professor in the Department of Government at LSE and director of LSE London

Copies are also available priced £9.95 from the Fabian Society bookshop – call 020 7227 4900, email  or send a cheque payable to “The Fabian Society” to 61 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU.

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How to purchase

Copies are available, priced £9.95, from the Fabian Society. Call 020 7227 4900, email or send a cheque payable to The Fabian Society to 61 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU.

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Daisy-Rose Srblin

Daisy-Rose Srblin is the 2018 London campaign manager for the Child Poverty Action Group. She previously was a research fellow at the Fabian Society focusing on tax reform and an MP's researcher for the UK Parliament.


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