16th June 2014
Britons are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to pinpointing those who carry the heaviest tax burden in the UK.
A new report from campaigning group The Equality Trust found that the British public vastly overestimate how progressive the current tax system is.
The study entitled Unfair and Unclear concluded that the majority of people, at 68%, believe that households in the highest 10% income group pay more of their income in tax than those in the lowest 10%.
However, analysis conducted by the Equality Trust using data from the Office for National Statistics has found that, when all taxes on income are included, households in the bottom 10% pay 43% of its income in tax but the average household and a household in the top 10% both pay 35% – 8% less.
Given the role tax plays in people’s lives, given it can determine the affordability of basic necessities like food and bills as well as the quality of local services, healthcare and education, it is important that people are aware of who is paying what urges the organisation.
“The public are misled about this country’s tax system,” asserts Duncan Exley, director of the Equality Trust.
“They think households with the highest incomes pay more than those with the lowest, whereas the opposite is the case. Even more concerning is how little our current system matches people’s preferences on tax. There is clearly strong support for a system that places far less burden on low-income households.
“But equally we must build a tax system that better reflects people’s preferences. That’s why we’re calling on all parties seeking to form the government from 2015 to commit to the principle that any changes in tax policy are progressive.”
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