...at the same time as Gordon Brown spouts about how well you are all doing? Well the OECD has found the answer. Took a lot of research of course but they came up with much the the same conclusion as every pub conversation in the country: .....single-earner married couples with two children have had what the OECD calls the "tax wedge" taken from their earnings increase over the past five years from 25.1 per cent to 27.8 per cent. (By contrast, the figure in the United States is 11.7 per cent.) And this, of course, is only the increase in direct taxation: it does not take into account Mr Brown's stealth taxes, such as fuel duties and stamp duty on property, or the huge increases in council tax (which has nearly doubled on average in 10 years) that have been a direct result of his deliberate foisting of more and more expenditure on to local government. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=V01TXLNFH4J1RQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/opinion/2007/03/02/dl0201.xml Why? Because huge public spending requires equally huge taxation. Governments tend to run things badly. Control freak "big" socialist Governments the world over always run things really badly especially if they try their hand at social engineering via taxation and welfare policy. Ultimately they always fail. Politicians, special advisers and the new breed of civil servants are useless managers because they do not know how to run real things. They mostly have no practical experience of them. Their key skill is talk about such things and raise their own profile within "big" government by trying to create positive headlines for their ultimate political masters. The extra taxes raised are largely wasted on politically inspired projects & quick fixes and increasingly misdirected into the running of an ever growing "big" Government. Big, self interested and self serving bureacracies always gets in the way of the provision of the basic front line services the taxpayer thinks they are paying for. Sound familiar?