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British public wrongly believe rich pay most in tax, new research shows

Posted on June 16th, 2014 at 11:45 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


“The public are misled about this country’s tax system. 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,” he said ahead of the “Unfair and Unclear” report.

“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.”

Not a single respondent in the poll knew how much the richest and poorest paid in tax. On average the public underestimates what the poorest 10% pays in tax by 19 percentage points, believing they pay just 24% of their income in taxes, the Equality Trust said.

When asked about how to make the tax system fairer, on average, people said the poorest 10% should be taxed just 15% of their income, or 28% percentage points less than they currently are. They believe the richest 10% should be taxed 39%, or 4 percentage points more than now.

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