Buy back better

Think tank: IPPR

Author(s): Joseph Evans; George Dibb

October 27, 2022

This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at the case for raising taxes on dividends and buybacks.

Households are experiencing a real-terms income squeeze while some of Britain’s largest companies transfer profits to their shareholders at record levels. Taxes on shareholder transfers should be raised to ensure that companies are not channelling profits to their shareholders at a time of national economic crisis. This briefing paper argues that the UK government can raise revenues by increasing taxes on dividends and buybacks. This is one mechanism which will allow the government to extend support for households and businesses through the cost of living crisis without resorting to public service cuts. The government should be prioritising progressive revenue-raisers which address growing wealth inequality, rather than turning back to the austerity cuts of the past. This briefing is published in collaboration with Common Wealth as part of our programme of work exploring profits and corporate power post-pandemic.