Let’s go to Steve Walker for another demonstration of George Osborne’s disingenuousness in the Autumn Statement:

Osborne’s claim is that the richest 20% of the population are paying more than 50% of the total tax revenue – but it can only be just over 50%, or else he would be giving more details.

the richest 20% of the population earned 48.2% of the total income – a shade under half. So what Osborne really said is that the small number of people earning just under half of the country’s total personal income paid just over half of the total tax.

Even if this were the whole picture, it would mean that those very rich people paid an almost identical tax rate in pence per £ as the rest of us – instead of the higher tax rates that our tax system supposedly allocates to high incomes.

Another term for that is a ‘flat tax’ – the Holy Grail of right-wingers the world over, because they know that a tax rate of, say, 30% has nothing like the impact on the wealth and comfort of a rich person as it does on average and poor people.

But that’s not the whole picture. It’s well known that the inclusion of the top 1% in the top decile means that the income figures are unreliable and understated, because the super-rich can hide/move their income all over the world and it’s almost impossible to tell just how much they earn.

It gets worse from there – but you must visit the Skwawkbox blog to find out how.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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