Who are the Rich?

Thursday 1st June 2017

In a provocative column in the Financial Times, Paul Johnson, head of the independent think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies, asked: Who are the rich? Once you get past the 1,000 people on the Sunday Times Rich List (average assets £134 million), who make up  0.00002 per cent of the UK population, who else is rich? To be in the top 1% of households by wealth you need assets of £3 million including your home, which would take in many people in London and the South East. To be in the top 5 per cent, you need £1.5 million. The top-earning 1% of individuals have incomes of over £160,000 per year, and together pay a quarter of all UK income tax; the top 5 per cent of individuals pay 60 per cent of all income tax receipts. However, you define the rich, says Johnson, we are uncomfortably dependent on them to fund public services.

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