The government has issued new statistics today on the taxable income and tax paid of people in the UK split into single percentage point bands.
I have plotted the data for 2011-12 tax year (the most recent available) showing total income before tax, income after tax and by deduction tax paid:
To make clear how steep that gradient is for the top 10% this is the data for this decile:
So let's be clear what this shows.
The first thing is that just 1% of people might be subject to the 50% tax rate.
The reason why they are subject to this rate is that their income and therefore their capacity to pay a higher rate of tax is completely different from that of the rest of the Uk community - even when compared to those in the next percentage point below them.
And these people are not in the 'middle class' of incomes. Those who argue that they are are living in a totally different world to the rest of us. And that is why they need to, and should, pay a lot more tax than everyone else especially when 50% have pre tax incomes of £20,000 or less.