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Is it time for a UK wealth tax?

Arun Advani, Emma Chamberlain and Gus O'Donnell

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed growing inequalities and provoked a debate about the rebuilding of public finances. Capital incomes (that flow from wealth) are taxed less heavily than labour incomes and there are growing calls to address this. There is also interest, in many countries, in the idea of introducing a new wealth tax – a tax on ownership of wealth (net of debt).

This event launched a new project investigating the desirability and feasibility of a wealth tax in the UK. The format was short presentations setting out the evolution of UK wealth and the possible rationales and difficulties of introducing a wealth tax followed by a discussion.


  • Arun Advani, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick Economics; CAGE; and IFS Research Fellow.
  • Emma Chamberlain - Barrister, Pump Court Tax Chambers; and Visiting Professor, University of Oxford Law
  • Lord Gus O'Donnell - Chairman of Frontier Economics; and former Cabinet Secretary

The event was chaired by Helen Miller, IFS Deputy Director.

You can watch the event below, or download the slides here.

The project is being run by Arun Advani, Emma Chamberlain and Andrew Summers (Assistant Professor, LSE Law and International Inequalities Institute). There will be a set of commissioned Evidence Papers from a range of experts in a range of disciplines – including economists from IFS. To hear more about this work, you can sign up to the CAGE newsletter here.

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