Does austerity make sense?

Using data from the Office of Budget Responsibility, have a look at how tax revenues are close to a historic low for modern times, and how government spending is forecast to plummet by 2020. Press the buttons below and you can see the effect on tax revenues if the government acted to close the tax gap.
New Labour lifts spending but lacks courage to raise taxes
Bank bailouts and other recession related costs
Instead of taxing the wealthiest who benefited pre-crisis, Tories have reduced taxes further
Tax receipts are to be kept at historically low levels
…which means spending must be cut MUCH further
OBR forecasts the lowest public spending since before the advent of the welfare state
SPENDING
TAX
This shouldn’t be a surprise when we allow political parties to accept huge individual donations from the super-rich.
Collecting more of the tax that is supposed be paid – so the budget can still be balanced but without cutting spending so far

HMRC estimates that there’s £34 billion a year in uncollected tax through evasion and avoidance. Tax Research UK (an independent campaign group) has estimated the tax gap at up to £120 billion. Who do you believe? Set the slider to see the impact, bearing in mind that, whatever the gap, it won’t be practical to collect 100% of it.

HMRC’s £34bn
Tax Research UK’s £120bn
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85
billion
The OBR’s graph of government spending and tax receipts as a % of GDP from 1949.