By Maximilian Clarke

The amount spent on Value Added Tax by the poorest 20% of the UK is proportionally higher today than it was 25 years ago, the Office for National Statistics have calculated.

In 1986, the poorest fifth spend 55% of their income on VAT exempt items and 45% on taxed purchases; today the figures have reversed.

The introduction, in 1994, of VAT onto domestic fuel has added to this transformation, though the removal of VAT on certain personal healthcare products has had no such effect. For the richest 20%, the proportional VAT spend has remained unchanged.

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