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Income Tax (Higher Rates)

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in tax concessions has been received by those on tax rates above 40 per cent. since June 1979 at constant prices to the latest available date; what estimates are available of the amount that has gone to each region and of the regional numbers of taxpayers in the tax bands above 40 per cent.; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 21 March 1988]: Income tax due from the top 2½ per cent. of taxpayers in 1978–79, the group liable at rates above 40 per cent., amounted to £3·4 billion, equivalent in real terms in 1988–89 to some £7·1 billion. In 1988–89, the tax due from the top 2½ per cent. of taxpayers will be about £9·0 billion — an increase of £2 billion, despite the reductions in tax rates and real increases in allowances since 1978–79. If the taxable incomes of the top 2½per cent. of taxpayers in 1988–89 were as they are now forecast to be, and at the same time were subject to 1978–79 income tax rates and allowances indexed to 1988-S9 levels by reference to the statutory formula, their liability would increase by £6 billion. However, the assumption on which this estimate is based is inherently implausible.I regret that corresponding information for each region is not available. Estimates of the number of taxpayers paying tax at the 45 per cent. rate or above in 1985–86, the latest year for which regional information is available, are given in the table.

Number of taxpayers1 in 1985–86 paying tax at the 45 per cent, rate or above
Yorkshire and Humberside29



North West39
East Midlands25
West Midlands38
East Anglia21
South East291
South West37
Northern Ireland11
United Kingdom2570

1 Married couples counted as one unit.

2 Includes members of the forces and Merchant Navy and a small number of civil servants serving abroad who have not been allocated to regions.


Cost of London weighting 1£ million

Number of staff receiving London weighting

Proportion of staff in department receiving London weighting per cent.


Agriculture, Fisheries and Food3·722,94030
Cabinet Office1·781,16071
Central Office of Information1·0670087
Charity Commission0·3221064
Crown Estate Office0·064075
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal0·0000
Crown Prosecution Service33·352,52072
Customs and Excise7·696,41025
Education and Science2·011,35055
Employment Group12·1510,16017
Export Credits Guarantee Department1·1176042
General Register Officer (Scotland)0·0000
Government Actuary0·085092
Health and Social Security20·0617,01018
Home Office12·289,73028
Inland Revenue15·2112,94019
Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce0·0000
Land Registry1·091,23017
Law Officer's Department0·032094
Lord Advocate's Department0·032089
Lord Chancellor's Department5·303,94038
National Investment and Loan Office0·0850100
National Savings0·241602
Northern Ireland Office0·1611065
Office of Arts and Libraries0·086098
Office of Fair Trading0·4331098
Office of Gas Supply0·0220100
Office of Population Census and Surveys1·1173035
Ordnance Survey0·121405
Overseas Development Administration1·4095064
Paymaster General0·0000
Privy Council0·053097
Public Record Office0·4340098
Registers of Scotland0·0000
Registry of Friendly Societies0·1711099
Royal Mint0·02104
Scottish Courts Administration0·0000
Scottish Courts Service0·0000
Scottish Office0·03200
Scottish Records Office0·0000
Stationery Office0·5436018
Trade and Industry10·767,77064
Treasury Solicitor's Department0·6241095
Welsh Office0·07402