Top 1% of taxpayers are increasingly only men based in London, says 'shocking' research

Posted On: 
6th August 2019

The top 1% of taxpayers are increasingly just men based in London and the South East, according to new research branded “shocking” by Labour.

John McDonnell said the research showed Tory governments 'have encouraged the super-rich to concentrate' in London
Credit: 
PA Images

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) claims to have found “the extraordinary scale of the gulf between the merely well off and the very richest”, using data from income tax records.

The analysis reveals that more than half of the top 1% live in London and the South East, with more than a third in London alone. 

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And they are becoming more and more concentrated in these small areas, with half of them living in just 65 parliamentary constituencies in 2014-15, down from 78 in 2000–01.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said it was “yet another sign of how Tory governments have encouraged the super-rich to concentrate in those regions while the rest of the country is held back”.

To be in the top 1% of income tax payers in London requires an income of over £300,000 a year, three times what it takes to be in the top 1% for Wales, the North East and Northern Ireland.

The IFS says there also remains a huge gender disparity, with men making up 83% of the top 1% of income tax payers and 89% of the top 0.1%.

Robert Joyce from the economic think tank, and one of the authors of the report, said the “geographic and demographic concentration may be one reason why many of those on high incomes don’t realise quite how much higher their incomes are than the average”.

He added: “What many people will want to know is how some people have such high incomes.

“For example, do those earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year derive such rewards from innovations and activities that benefit all of us, or are they exploiting market power at the expense of workers on lower incomes?

“These are among the key questions that the IFS Deaton Review of inequalities, which we recently kicked off, will look to address.” 

Mr McDonnell added: “A massive proportion of the top 1% live in London and the South East, and it’s yet another sign of how Tory governments have encouraged the super-rich to concentrate in those regions while the rest of the country is held back.

“It’s shocking that so many of the top 1% are getting tax advantages, as partners and business owners, and we’re going to get more help for the very wealthiest from this Boris Johnson-led government of bankers.”