Those who think that all our problems can be solved by taxing the rich more would do well to study this year's tax facts mentioned by City AM editor, Allister Heath, in Tuesday's edition.
1. The top 1% of earners earn 10.8% of all income, but will pay 24.2% of all income tax.
2. The top 10% earn 33.2% of all income but will pay 55.3% of all income tax.
3. The top 31,000 individuals (earning £0.5m+) will pay £14.8bn, which is more than the £13.9bn paid by the bottom 13,600,000 people earning below £20,000 pa.
4. Those earning £0.5m+ per year pay 43-44% in income tax, plus National Insurance plus indirect taxes. The very top 2,000 earners pay on average £2m each in income tax alone.
These facts are sobering, but a real injustice comes from the fact that those earning the minimum wage (for a typical working week) have income tax and National Insurance taken out of that minimum wage. Those on minimum wages would earn a 'living wage' were it not for the money taken from them by government. It seems wrong that people struggling to get by on the minimum wage should lose some of that meagre sum to government.