Thought-provoking figures on income redistribution in the UK. Some factoids:

  • Income inequality hasn’t changed much in the last decade (which means that more redistribution has been taking place)
  • The richest fifth earn 15 times more than the poorest fifth before tax and benefits. The figure is only four times once tax and benefits have been taken in to account.
  • The poorest 40% of the population receive 56% of the cash benefits each year. So the middle class do quite well out of benefits (20% of the income of the middle fifth). NB this includes pensions.

It does look like there are swathes of universalised benefits going to 40k+ income households that aren’t necessary. Bring on means testing! (Confession: my loft has been insulated for free thanks to Boris and Islington. Oops.).