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The top 5% of UK income tax payers are paid more money than the bottom 50% added together.

Every six months, HMRC publishes official income tax statistics on the government website. Additional data for 2014 were obtained from HMRC in February 2015 through a Freedom of Information request. The pie chart shows how our national income divided between tax payers in each income bracket.

The total income tax-paying population (approximately 30 million people) was divided into 20 equal groups "A" through "T" on basis of income. Each group contained about 1.5 million people, but their shares of the national cake were very different. Group A on the lowest incomes received only 1.6% of the national wealth. The highest bracket, group T, who were each paid over £73,900 per year, received an impressive 25.1% of the cake, or nearly 16 times as much as the people in group A.

Group T, just 1 income tax payer in 20, were paid over one quarter of the national income, more money than the bottom 50% of all income tax payers added together!

Roughly 12 million children, 19 million “economically inactive” adults and 2 million unemployed people were not considered in this study, because they paid no tax. If these people had been included, the gap between rich and poor would have appeared even worse than it seems above.

Everybody should be ashamed of the enormous gap between rich and poor. It is morally, practically and economically wrong. No human being is worth even 16 times more than another human being, however the gap within the UK is as nothing compared with the gap between the UK and the rest of world. Rampant inequality makes us all worse off.

Last updated 3 April 2015 at 23:40. Back to the top

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Promoted by John Illingworth, 37 Kirkwood Way, Leeds LS16 7EU