I composed a graph from Eurostat's database on tax wedge in EU, US, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland in 2008. Tax wedge is a measure of overall tax burden of labor cost. It shows the share of taxed labor cost. It is striking to see that EU goverments take in almost half of what you earn. Tax wedge is the highest in Belgium (50.3 percent). Hopefully, it does not set an example to the rest of EU countries, as EU15 tax wedge is over 40 percent. After all, EU15 is known for high tax burden. As you can see from the graph, tax wedge is the highest in Continantal Europe. Germany, one of the biggest EU economies, scored second with 47.3 percent, next is Hungary (46.7 percent) followed by France (45.5 percent), Austria (44.4) and other countries. All countries that scored above 35 percent should implement some radical reforms and so became more competitive and attractive for doing business. One of the countries that achieved to reduce tax wedge the most is Cyprus (0.0 percent), second best is Malta with 17.9 percent, Iceland (23.7 percent), Switzerland (26.5 percent), USA (28 percent), Luxemburg (29.6 percent) and UK (29.7 percent).
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