More income tax details

/ 22 July 2014

The Telegraph outlines further details of research into which areas pay the most and least amount of income tax. Residents of Elmbridge, in Surrey, pay the most at £16,600 a year, followed by South Buckinghamshire (£13,600), Chiltern (£12,700) and Sevenoaks (£11,600). Torbay residents pay the least amount on average, at £2,710.

Source: The Daily Telegraph Evening Standard

These are average figures, of course: an average which will be affected by the fact, as we understand it, that Elmbridge numbers among its residents (and presumably tax-payers) people like Andy Murray, Sir Elton John and a fair proportion of Chelsea Football Club’s first team players. It’s also said that late Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, lived in the area and the Sultan of Oman is rumoured to own property nearby.

The trouble is that “averages” are just that: “on the average” a man with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer must be at a comfortable temperature, though he is unlikely to agree. In the same way, the “average” income in a town which has a few individuals with very high earnings may tell us nothing about the circumstances of a large majority of the residents. Those many who use the food bank in the Buckinghamshire town where I happen to live and whose gross income – not tax bill – barely reaches £13,600 may be permitted a wry smile at surveys such as this.