The future of the left since 1884

Values Added: Rethinking tax for the 21st century

Instead of simplistic discussions of whether tax should go up or down, we urgently need a fundamental reassessment of how we tax, and to what end.


In a crucial election year, tax is on the agenda for both the Conservatives and Labour. But inevitably the campaign conversation crowds out the bigger questions about why tax matters and whether our system is fit for purpose.

Tax is still perceived as a political taboo, yet it remains a cornerstone in the relationship between the citizen and the state. Our perception of fairness about what we ‘pay in’ shapes our attitudes to society, with wide-ranging repercussions on, for example, our willingness to engage with the democratic process or to trust our elected representatives.

Some 15 years ago, the Fabian Society’s Commission on Tax and Citizenship, chaired by Lord Plant, argued that taxpayers need to feel better ‘connected’ to their taxes and to the public services which they finance. Revisiting this core concept, this collection explores the values and principles of taxation with the aim of encouraging renewed debate.

Download now


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.


Fabian membership

Join the Fabian Society today and help shape the future of the left

You’ll receive the quarterly Fabian Review and at least four reports or pamphlets each year sent to your door

Be a part of the debate at Fabian conferences and events and join one of our network of local Fabian societies

Join the Fabian Society
Fabian Society

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.