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Taxpayers will now receive tax breakdown letters


From this week millions of taxpayers will start to receive details of exactly how their money is being spent by the government.

The initiative was announced in 2012 by Chancellor George Osborne when the government said it wanted to start a “revolution in transparency”. The letters will show how much tax and national insurance the individual has paid, as well as a breakdown of where it was spent- for example; welfare, transport, health and education. The Chancellor said:

"It's about people getting information
"This is about people knowing where their money is going and how much tax they're paying.
"I think it is going to help as a country the debate we have about living within our means."

The initiative does have its objectors. The Trades Union Congress (TUC), a national trade union centre representing the majority of trade unions in the UK, has said that the scheme is propaganda, and that the government was trying to soften the electoral up for further cuts. A spokesperson for the TUC said:

“The letters are party political propaganda masquerading as neutral information
"The chancellor is relying on the fact that many people think spending called welfare all goes to the unemployed”

The letters show that 24.5% of government spending goes on welfare payments.

There are almost 30 million taxpayers in the UK, and those who do not receive a summary can use HM Revenue & Custom's tax calculator to get similar information, the Treasury said.

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