New research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies finds that a new tax would add almost £1bn to the Treasury over five years, but only for goods and services worth more than £250,000.
The tax is part of the UK’s plan to combat “deregulation” by introducing a new stamp duty on imports of certain kinds of antiquities and cultural artefacts.
It is part-funded by the UK government, and is meant to go into effect on 1 July 2020.
The research, by the IFS, suggests the new tax could add between £200bn and £300bn to government coffers over the next five years.
“It is likely that there will be some impact on consumption but this would be largely offset by a fall in the value of the tax,” the ITS said.
The new stamp would apply to goods and other types of antiquaries imported in bulk from overseas, such as statues, statues of famous Britons, and artefacts that are only currently available in England, Wales and Scotland.
The IFS estimated the new stamp tax would raise about £1.6bn to be spent on services, including on museums and heritage buildings.
The organisation noted that the government’s plans would be funded by a levy on exports of imported goods.
The research also found that the new excise duty would add to the country’s already-high levels of consumer debt.
In total, the tax would cost the Treasury around £3.5bn, which would increase the deficit by £2.3bn, according to the IHS.
Since the government started implementing its plans to clamp down on “dud tax” in April 2020, it has faced criticism from some quarters.
Ahead of the move, a group of MPs told the BBC that it was a “travesty” that was being “used as an excuse to undermine the economy”.
In response, the Treasury said it had been “concerned about the potential impact of the levy on people’s living standards”.
“We have already introduced new measures to increase tax revenue and make sure that we are ensuring that the tax does not harm the economy, and that there are safeguards in place to ensure that people can keep their money,” a spokesperson said.
Despite this, critics said the tax was “too vague” and would not address the “toxic” culture of imports that could undermine the nation’s heritage.
“The levy will be an economic shock to the economy that will hit households hard,” said Matthew Smith, the shadow culture secretary.
“We should be protecting the rich and powerful while they are spending money they can’t possibly afford.”
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