Britain’s poorest households pay more of their income in tax than the richest

Britain’s poorest households pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes than the richest, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Analysis of the ONS’ Effects of Taxes and Benefits publication, released this week, found:

  • The poorest 10% of households paid on average 42% of their income in tax in 2015/16.
  • The richest 10% of households however paid on average just 34.3% of their income in tax
  • Council tax and VAT hit the poorest particularly hard, with the poorest 10% of households paying 7% of their gross income in council tax, compared to just 1.5% for the richest, and 12.5% of gross income paid in VAT (5% for rich)
  • Despite paying far less of their income in tax, the richest 10% have on average a gross income of £110,632, 10 times that of the poorest (£10,992)
  • Post tax (including direct and indirect taxes and cash benefits) the poorest 10% have on average £6,370 and the richest 10% have £72,746


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