Chancellor George Osborne says he is “shocked” that some of the UK’s richest people have organised their finances so that they pay virtually no income tax.
The Daily Telegraph reported that a study by HM Revenue and Customs showed the very rich had reduced their average income tax rate to just 10%. George Osborne said it was not right that the richest could legally arrange their tax affairs in such a way.
But Labour accused him of “synthetic shock”, having cut the top tax rate.
He said he would take “further action” but did not outline any new proposals.
HM Revenue and Customs provided the chancellor with “anonymised copies” of the confidential tax returns submitted to the organisation by the UK’s wealthiest people, the Telegraph reported.
He was not given the details of the individuals involved, but he said the returns he had seen had shown him the 20 biggest tax avoiders had legally reduced their income tax bills by a total of £145m in a year.
He told the newspaper: “I was shocked to see that some of the very wealthiest people in the country have organised their tax affairs – and to be fair it’s within the tax laws – so that they were regularly paying virtually no income tax. And I don’t think that’s right.”
“I’m talking about people right at the top. I’m talking about people with incomes of many millions of pounds a year.
“The general principle is that people should pay income tax and that includes people with the highest incomes,” Mr Osborne added.
– BBC News
Whereas millionaire trustafarian George Osborne has only engineered his own financial affairs to avoid straying into the top tax-band – in effect, generously submitting his large ministerial salary to full taxation rather than his property portfolio and multi-million pound inheritance from the Osborne & Little decorating empire.
I think The Guardian is right – we should arrest the usual suspects…