The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Free IFS talk on whether rich pay enough tax

“If you care about who’s paying for our public services, you should come to our public talk on the 24th” said IFS Associate Director ahead of free public talk

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Are the rich paying their fair share of taxes? Who are the rich? How can people be persuaded to pay more tax?

These questions will be discussed during a free event that will take place at the University of Manchester on Tuesday the 24th of October.

The public talk will be given by Helen Miller, Associate Director and head of tax research at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and University of Manchester Professor of Economics, Diane Coyle, will be on hand to give students the opportunity to ask Helen questions.

Explaining why she believes this debate to be so timely, Helen Miller told The Mancunion: “We hear stories about how much tax the rich are – or are not – paying all the time. This was a key issue in this year’s election, with the Labour party promising to put up the tax rate on top earners. They wanted to raise more money to spend on, among other things, scrapping tuition fees.”

The IFS head of tax research added that the amount of tax raised from the rich “matters for all us because it affects how much money there is to spend on schools, hospitals, roads, and other good stuff. It might also matter [to] you directly” and said, “if you care about who’s paying for our public services, you should come to our public talk on the 24th.”

Helen said the debate was specifically of interest to students, telling The Mancunion: “plenty of university graduates will be rich relative to everyone else in the population. When you get a job, how much of your income should the government take in tax to ensure you’re paying your fair share?”

Diane Coyle, University of Manchester Economics Professor, echoed Helen’s sentiments about the issue being timely and relevant for students.

She said: “The subject of this talk is an issue much debated in the media, and concerns not only fairness but also what tax revenues are going to be available to pay for public services. The IFS event is a brilliant opportunity to engage with economics in action, out of the pages of the textbooks, in discussion with one of the country’s leading experts on tax policy.”

Though the event is free, due to expected popularity, students need to register in advance and acquire a ticket through Eventbrite.

The IFS public talk will take place on Tuesday the 24th of October from 4.15 – 5.30pm, with doors opening from 4.00pm.

The event will be held in the Simon Building, Theatre B, and will be filmed so that the discussion can be shared with others across the UK.