The percentage of GDP taken in income tax and national insurance contributions is rising, meaning that an ever-increasing portion of our cash goes straight to Jeremy Taxman, much of it to pay interest due on the national debt. Every day, the Government raises about £1.42bn from the nation's workers - about £49 per working adult per day.
Last year, UK employees finished paying the Government on 27 May. This year, 'Tax Freedom Day', as it is known, arrived three days later: we started to earn on our own account only on 30 May. Recent figures also suggest that, by the end of the year, incomes will have fallen to 2005 levels. With rising inflation and high commodity prices, household and business incomes are being squeezed at both ends.
But it's not all bad news: the predicted growth in GDP between now and 2014 is £152bn, which is £55bn more than in the three years to 2005. Let's hope those predictions are right; with average household debt set to top £77,000 by 2015, a mere 1/13,000th of the wider national debt, we will need the extra bunce.