I've been reading with great interest the latest publication from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which gives lots of food for thought:
[quote]In 2011–12, out of an adult population in the UK of around 49 million, an estimated 29.9 million individuals will be liable for income tax. This is a reminder that attempts to use income tax reductions to help the poorest in the country are likely to fail, since less than two-thirds of the adult population have high enough incomes to pay income tax at all.[/quote]
Based on this evidence, how can the Lib Dems possibly justify increasing the personal allowance to £10,000 - thereby removing even more people from the charge to income tax? Is that really the objective - to get remove half of the UK from the income tax net? Can someone please remind me what exactly is "fair" in all this?
[quote]Table 15 shows that the top 10% of income taxpayers now pay over half of all the income tax paid, and the top 1% (most of whom face the additional 50% marginal tax rate) pay 28% of all that is paid.[/quote]
Based on this evidence, is the 50% income tax rate really "fair"? It seems that the top 1% of income tax payers already make a disproportionate contribution to the country.
I kind of knew that the statistics were skewed in this direction, but I find the actual numbers pretty astounding. Why should so few support so many?