TAXPAYERS in London and a surrounding group of so-called banker belt towns are coughing up £52bn a year in income tax, with workers’ contributions coming in at double the UK average.
Dividing up British towns according to the average income tax bill of each taxpayer, accounting firm UHY Hacker Young found that 28 of the top 30 areas are commuter towns in the south east, typically home to many City employees.
Taxpayers in those 30 areas pay an average of £9,463 per year in income tax.
Workers who live in the Elmbridge area of Surrey paid an average of £16,600, the most in any district in the country – and three times the £4,985 UK average.
The area’s 73,000 inhabitants, across towns including Esher, Weybridge and Walton on Thames, paid a total of more than £1.2bn in income tax in the year. Elmbridge is home to sports stars and celebrities, however, not just financial sector workers.
Next highest was South Buckinghamshire, including Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross. Its 40,000 workers paid £540m in income tax, an average of £13,600.
And Chiltern, including Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter, was in third place with an average bill of £12,700, amounting to £682m across 52,000 people.
Excluding Londoners, 1.9m people in the top regions pay a total of £17.4bn in income tax per year. The 3.9m in the capital pay £35bn.
“The government is increasingly reliant on the wealthiest parts of the south eastern commuter belt and London for income,” said UHY Hacker Young’s Mark Giddens.
“Higher taxation of wealthy individuals in the south east has proven to be an effective means to boost tax receipts, but these numbers will not make for pleasant reading for those affected.”