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Britain’s Richest Taxpayers Are Men in London, Southeast

Andrew Atkinson

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The richest people in the U.K. are overwhelmingly middle-aged men living in London and the southeast, according to new analysis published Tuesday.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the top 1% of taxpayers receive over 150,000 pounds ($182,000) a year and more than a third of them now live in the British capital.

The findings, based on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs data, are likely to fuel concerns over the scale of geographic and gender inequality in the U.K.

The top 1% of men earn at least 200,000 pounds, double the income of the highest 1% of women. Many of them are in their 40s and 50s, with partners in hedge funds, law firms and the medical industry featuring prominently.

Men account for 83% of the top 1% of income taxpayers, and almost 90% of the top 0.1% -- requiring an income of over 650,000 pounds, the IFS said. More than a third of that comes from dividend and partnership income.

“What many people will want to know is how some people have such high incomes,” said IFS Deputy Director Robert Joyce. “Do those earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year derive such rewards from innovations and activities that benefit all of us, or are they exploiting market power at the expense of workers on lower incomes?”

Separate reports Tuesday underlined the pressure on people further down the income scale. Consumer spending rose an annual 1.7% in July, as households spent less on essential items, according to Barclaycard. The British Retail Consortium meanwhile said retail sales barely increased from a year earlier on a same-store basis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, David Goodman, Lucy Meakin

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