A recent report suggests Britain is a lot less equal than it seems as a result of the techniques used by some people to lower their tax. Another cites concern about a rise in benefit fraud. Care to guess which will get tackled first?
Two financial stories caught my eye yesterday. The first one concerned benefit fraud and the BBC reporting officials are fretting that up to £1.5bn may have been lost through the torture of applying for universal credit being made less tortuous.
The second one looked at the rich and how they might be considerably richer than the statistics imply. Most measures of inequality consider only cash income. Since the late 1990s, the pre-tax total income of the top 1 per cent – roughly half a million people – has apparently held steady at around 14 per cent.
But, when researchers at Warwick University and the Resolution Foundation added in their capital gains, their total share jumped from 14 per cent to 17 per cent over the last two decades.
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