Friday, 7 October 2011

Britain is no country for old men as tax payers in general and poor ones in particular

An article in the 'Daily Mail' newspaper yesterday was entitled :
Pensioners hand over £100 in tax every week as they pour £34 billion into Treasury coffers

It made the following points, that :

* the average 'Old Age Pensioner' household, whether a couple or an individual, hands over more than £5,000 a year to the Government's Exchequer, most of this being 'income tax', which they are forced to pay even in retirement.

* indirect taxes, including VAT at 20%, petrol duty, vehicle excise duty and the TV licence, which only becomes free at the age of 75, add significantly to their burden.

* a 'typical pensioner household' has a gross income of £18,834 a year, with £5,124 or 27% of their income, around £1 in every £4, taken by the taxman but those on £9,445 a year, are docked £3,175, which is a 33% levy.*

* the number of tax-paying pensioners is at record levels and of Britain’s 25 million taxpayers, 4 million are aged 65 and above, a million more than a decade ago.

* many are struggling to cope with soaring inflation, living on fixed incomes from savings accounts suffering since the Bank of England cut the base rate to 0.5%, the lowest level in its 317-year history.

The article generated the following correspondence :

* 'Thats cos they are the richest generation now. Fact. They pay more tax cos they got more money. They should be helping the young instead. Why keep making out they are all poor. Many are well rich.'
Student grant, UK.

* 'So pensioners should not have to pay income tax? If they are earning the money they should pay the tax!'
DH of London.

* 'Pensioners are not EARNING the money. They earned it years ago and have already paid tax on it, you fool.'
Paul, Rochester.

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