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Income and Wealth (Economics A-Level): Taxation

Overall discussion question: To what extent should the government prioritize a fairer distribution of income and wealth?

Recommended Reading: You must read and make notes on these articles

Why not... introduce a flat tax? (BBC, 2013)

This article is quite old, but still provides a balanced view of the arguments for and against a flat tax.

The BBC is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.

Abolish twenty taxes and go for growth, says IEA (Institute for Economic Affairs, 2016)

This is a really interesting article from a right-wing perspective. The Institute for Economic Affairs is widely regarded as a right-wing (or sometimes centre-right) Think Tank. It has a poor rating for funding transparency from Who funds you? and Transparify and, although useful for a right-wing perspective, should be treated with some caution.

Further Reading: You might choose to explore some of these articles

Flat taxes – a great way to help the poorest pay for the richest (Guardian, 2012)

An opinion piece attacking the idea of a flat tax. Although quite old now, the arguments are still valid. Links to ideas about regional inequality too. Contrast this with the newer article from the same publication commenting on the Institute for Economic Affairs report (above) 'Abolish 20 taxes and set 15% flat rate of income tax in UK, says report' (Guardian, 2016).

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.

"What's so unfair about letting people keep more of their own money? Higher rate income tax isn't only paid by the rich, but by the aspirational middle class, too (Daily Telegraph, 2018)

An opinion piece in favour of lower income tax.

The Daily Telegraph is a right-wing newspaper which has been downgraded to 'mixed' for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com due to failed fact checks by fullfact.org and allegations of misleading claims by climatefeedback.org. It is useful for a right-wing perspective but should be treated with some caution.

Access to Infotrac

InfoTrac Newspaper Collection (password for access from home here) contains the full text of articles from:

  • The Daily (and Sunday) Telegraph
  • The Guardian and Observer
  • The Independent and Independent on Sunday
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Times and Sunday Times

as well as a range of local papers. This can be useful for finding newspaper articles which are otherwise hidden behind pay walls.

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Access to the Financial Times

myFT logo

The Financial Times offers free access to school students aged 16-19 (and their teachers/Librarians). Sign up for an individual account while you are logged on using a school wi-fi (or wired) connection:

  • Click here.
  • Scroll down to Check if your school is registered for free access to FT.com
  • Type Oakham in the search box
  • Click on Request your signup link in the Oakham School line, and follow the on-screen instructions

Once you have created your account, you can then use these log in details anywhere - in or out of school.

Notemaking and summarising resources

Use this journal to make notes as you read each article. One page per source.

  • First note key ideas and quotes in the left hand column
  • Then reread these and explain how they relate to the inquiry question in the right hand column.
  • Don't forget to comment on the quality of the source.

You should make notes like this on both the Recommended Reading articles for each section. (If you choose to make notes by hand rather than on screen, use a shortened URL in the source description e.g. bbc.co.uk rather than the full URL of the article).


Once you have completed your reading for each area you can start to transfer your ideas to this summary sheet, which you will use as your notes for the Spiderweb discussion. Don't forget to explain the key Economic ideas for each area in the "basic explanation" box on the left hand side of the sheet, and highlight any key vocabulary so that you can make sure you use it in the discussion.

This sheet should be printed double sided on A3.


You may wish to use this sheet to collect a list of technical terms as you progress through this topic. You might find it helpful to have this list to refer to during the discussion.

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