It explains much

It has long been said that Norn Iron is a bit of a drain on the economy of the UK. Big ol’ spongers, that’s all we are. And, to be sure, there is an overly large public sector – of which I am a part, annoyingly enough – that weighs heavily on the place.

But it seems that it’s not all that simple. Yes, there is a big chunk of money thrown over here from London, but it seems that we tend to work more for it.

Northern Ireland is the highest-taxed part of the United Kingdom, and Wales the lowest-taxed, according to a new analysis by the Adam Smith Institute. Our boffins looked at the tax bill paid by residents of different regions, and translated them into a Tax Freedom Day for each area. The results reveal a ‘postcode lottery’ of tax burdens, depending on where you live.

It turns out that the Welsh have to work eight days less than the national average in order to pay off their tax bills, but Northern Ireland residents have to work four days more. Taxpayers in Wales will be working for Gordon Brown from January 1 until 24 May this year, while those in Northern Ireland will be slaving from 1 January until 6 June.

So we’re as highly taxed as those in London. Which is annoying, seeing as how those in London can at least blame a fair whack of it on the daft Olympic waste and the daft Livingstone waste-of-space.

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