Election 2017

Reality Check: Who would be affected by Labour's higher taxes?

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Media captionJeremy Corbyn released the Labour Party's manifesto ahead of the general election.

Under a Labour government the highest earners would be affected by higher taxes.

It plans to make anyone earning more than £80,000 a year pay the top rate of tax, known as the additional rate, which is 45p.

It is estimated that would drag another 1.2 million people into the higher tax bracket.

Currently, you have to be earning £150,000 a year to attract that 45p tax rate.

The Labour manifesto also pledges to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate on earnings above £123,000.

Labour says these plans would raise an extra £6.4bn.

However, Paul Johnson, the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is "genuinely uncertain" it would raise that amount.

Whatever the final figure, Labour's plan would leave the richest carrying even more of the tax burden.

The top 5% of earners already account for 47% of income tax, according to Revenue & Customs data.

And remember, the Scottish Parliament has some freedom to set its own tax rates and thresholds.

Who makes what?

Only a tiny proportion of employees make more than £80,000 - according to the Office for National Statistics, it's just 4%.

So who are those big earners?

Well, the ONS collects that data in its annual survey of hours and earnings.

Not surprisingly, companies pay their chief executives and other senior executives extremely well.

According to the ONS, 40% of them will be earning more than £95,000 a year.

The finance industry is also well rewarded.

A quarter of managers and directors at financial institutions, such as banks, make more than £79,700 a year.

Many of the best paid jobs in the public sector are in medicine, including anaesthetists, consultants, GPs, radiologists and surgeons.

The top 40% in those professions can expect to make more than £79,000 a year.

Not as good but still very comfortable livings can be made elsewhere in the public sector.

About a third of senior police officers and a third of top officers in the armed services make more than £64,000 a year.

Wealth v income

Finally, we should note the difference between wealth and income.

Wealth is a catch-all term for assets, such as property, shares and other investments.

It is possible to be wealthy without having a high income - imagine an elderly couple on a modest pension who live in a big house.

It is also possible to have a high income and not be very wealthy - imagine a young banker on a high salary who has not bought any property.

But generally the wealthiest people will also enjoy high incomes.

In some cases, they will take sophisticated advice on how to legally avoid tax, perhaps by holding their assets in offshore companies.


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