How Many Working Age British Voters Don't Pay Income Tax?

Mitt Romney’s highlighting of the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax has got Guido thinking this morning. Having crunched the numbers it seems that a far greater number of Britons chip in to the Treasury than our stateside counterparts. Of the 34.1 million people of working age in the UK some 30.1 million pay income tax, leaving just 12% not contributing. Using Romney’s less reasonable registered voter method – including other groups such as the elderly – that figure rises to 35%.

Over at the Speccie Fraser Nelson has some interesting research of his own, noting the large number of public sector “dependents” who vote Tory. Fraser goes on: “If you add Brits who derive most of their income from government jobs or welfare, you’d get to about half of registered voters”.

46.1 million registered voters, a public sector workforce of 5.9 million5.8 million on working age benefits and 9.5 million recipients of old-age pensions – that’s approximately 46% of voters who could be described as dependent on the government. They might not all vote Labour but that’s still quite a figure…




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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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