I am very bored by the claim that higher tax rates (45% at present, 50% proposed) impact the middle classes. The personal income statistics published last week make clear how untrue this is. This is one way of looking at that:
The 5oth percentile is middle UK - it is median income. In 2011-12 a peson on this income was earning just over £20,000 before tax.
A person on the 99% percentile was enjoying income of around £150,000 - just enough to pay the higher rates of tax.
They are not in the middle.
And just in case there are those who think these are after tax figures this is the data for the 50th percentile in before and after tax terms:
That £20,000 is pre-tax income. That's partly because male and female earnings are so starkly different right across all age ranges:
This is a profoundly unequal society.