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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 12:36 GMT
Inequality: Facts behind the fiction
All the drama-documentaries in the IF series are based on rigorous journalism and research.

Here are a few facts about wealth distribution and taxation in the UK.

  • One fifth of the UK's poorest households do not have any type of bank or building society account.
    (Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation - Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2002)

  • A childless couple with over 805 in net income - or a combined salary of 57,000 - are in the top 5% of earners in the UK.
    (Source: Department for Work and Pensions 2001-2)

  • The top tenth of the UK population now receives a greater share of total net income than the entire bottom half.
    (Source: Department for Work and Pensions 2001-2)

  • In 2001-2, over 40% of people in lone-parent households were in the poorest fifth of the UK population and 73% in the poorest two-fifths.
    (Source: Department for Work and Pensions 2001-2)

  • In 2001-2, ethnic minority households made up 8.6% of the UK population but also made up 15% of the poorest fifth.
    (Source: Department for Work and Pensions 2001-2)

  • In the 2002 British Social Attitudes Survey, more than four-fifths of the population say the gap between high and low incomes is too large.
    (Source: British Social Attitudes Survey, 2002)

  • At the end of 2001, 2.4m or 20% of all UK children rely on income support; more than double the proportion in 1979 (7.3%).
    (Source: Child Poverty Action Group, December 2001)

  • The total number of crimes reported to the British Crime Survey fell by 17% since 1999.
    (Source: British Crime Survey 2003)

  • 43% of respondents that read tabloid newspapers thought national crime had increased a lot, compared to 26% of broadsheet readers.
    (Source: British Crime Survey 2003)

  • In April 1999 the minimum wage was introduced to the UK at 3.60 per hour.
    (Source: Department for Work and Pensions)

  • The Inland Revenue estimates that 85bn is channelled our of the UK in into offshore tax havens every year.
    (Source: Inland Revenue)

  • The top rate of income tax reached 83% between 1975 and 1979, Margaret Thatcher's government cut the top rate to 60% and then to 40% in 1988.
    (Source: Tolley's Income Tax)

  • 7% of the population earn over 35,000 and currently pay the top rate of tax
    (Source: Institute of Fiscal Studies: Is Middle Britain Middle Income Britain?)

  • There are 1000 gated communities in England alone.
    (Source: Glasgow University, Department of Urban Studies)


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