Bloomberg News

U.K.’s Wealthiest Paid 23% More in Taxes in Fiscal 2011

May 06, 2012

Britain increased the amount it received in taxes from its richest citizens by 23 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March, Treasury Minister David Gauke said.

The Revenue and Customs High Net Worth Unit that deals with the tax affairs of about 5,000 people with wealth of at least 20 million pounds ($32 million) raised about 200 million pounds, compared with 162 million pounds in the previous tax year, the Treasury said. In the year through March 2010, the tax raised from this group was 85 million pounds.

“The tax affairs of the very wealthy can be very complex and so require specialist attention,” Gauke said in an e-mailed statement released by his office in London. The unit is “delivering real results for the country.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said in his March 21 budget that he’s reducing the top rate of income tax to 45 percent from 50 percent starting in 2013, arguing that the higher levy generated little revenue and encouraged avoidance. Osborne said he will squeeze tax avoiders in return for having cut the top rate.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party is suffering a backlash from voters who see the tax cut on the highest earners as unjust at a time when living standards for most are falling and the government is scaling back services in the biggest public-spending squeeze since World War II.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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