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Britain's richest taxpayers are men in London, Southeast
[LONDON] The richest people in the UK are overwhelmingly middle-aged men living in London and the southeast, according to new analysis published Tuesday.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the top 1 per cent of taxpayers receive more than 150,000 pounds (S$251,660) a year and more than a third of them now live in the British capital.
The report, based on Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs data, is likely to fuel concerns over the scale of geographic and gender inequality in the UK
The top 1 per cent of men earn at least 200,000 pounds, double the income of the highest 1 per cent of women. Many of them are in their 40s and 50s, with partners in hedge funds, law firms and the medical industry featuring prominently.
Men account for 83 per cent of the top 1 per cent of income taxpayers, and almost 90 per cent of the top 0.1 per cent -- requiring an income of over 650,000 pounds, the IFS said. More than a third of that comes from dividend and partnership income.
"What many people will want to know is how some people have such high incomes," said IFS Deputy Director Robert Joyce. "Do those earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year derive such rewards from innovations and activities that benefit all of us, or are they exploiting market power at the expense of workers on lower incomes?"
Separate reports Tuesday underlined the pressure on people further down the income scale. Consumer spending rose an annual 1.7 per cent in July, as households spent less on essential items, according to Barclaycard. The British Retail Consortium meanwhile said retail sales barely increased from a year earlier on a same-store basis.