Amid the week's Budget speculation there has been some talk of whether the Chancellor should cut the number of people paying the higher rate of income tax - 40p on every pound earned over the threshold (£41,450 in 2013-14, taking the personal allowance into account) and under £150,000.
The Today Programme's business and economics presenter, Simon Jack this morning commented that: "There's been a big increase in the number of people paying the top rate of tax - the 40% rate".
This is right (although it's not the highest rate). It's estimated that 4.4 million people paid the higher rate in 2013-14 and another 300,000 paid the additional rate of 45%. Back in 2009-10 there were 3.2 million paying the higher rate, and there wasn't any additional rate.
It's a growing trend long-term, and this isn't just because there are more taxpayers now. Back in 1990 barely 7% of taxpayers paid the higher rate (still 40% back then) whereas this year almost 15% have.
Our Budget guide out today has more.
Update (19 March 2014)
The article now makes clear 40% is not the 'top' rate of tax.
Isn't it nice to have the whole picture?
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