Tax Policies in the 1980s and 1990s: the Case of the United Kingdom

  • Jonathan I. Leape
Part of the Confederation of European Economic Associations Conference Volumes book series (CEEA)


The election of a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher in 1979 marked a turning point in UK tax policy. In the 1960s and 1970s, the primary focus of fiscal policy was on macroeconomic objectives, with demand management a central concern. With regard to microeconomic objectives, two areas received particular attention. One was rectifying market distortions: the perceived failure of firms to devote sufficient resources to long-term capital investment led to a variety of measures including investment grants and accelerated depreciation provisions while favourable tax treatment for pensions and life assurance was justified by the failure of individuals to provide for their retirement. Another was redistribution: the tax system was felt to be crucial in reducing inequalities.


Capital Gain Central Statistical Office Interest Deductibility Central Government Grant High Marginal Rate 
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© Confederation of European Economic Associations 1993

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  • Jonathan I. Leape

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