The UK's high earners have seen some of the steepest tax increases over the last 20 years

Mark Sands
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The Uk Minimum Wage Of GBP5.05
Average rates for those earning $1m-plus have climbed 4 per cent over 20 years (Source: Getty)

High earners in the UK have faced some of the world's steepest increases in income taxes over 20 years, according to new figures.

Sums from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young show the average rate paid by those earning more than $1m (£810,000) has climbed four per cent since 1996 to 43 per cent.

By contrast, the average global rate across 26 major countries has fallen to from 41 per cent to 36 per cent over the last two decades.

While European states have seen the average fall from 49 per cent to 41 per cent.

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Russia and India saw the biggest cuts of any major economies with high earners seeing their income taxes fall by 22 per cent to just 13 per cent, and 17 per cent to 34 per cent, respectively.

However, while low income workers have benefited from tax cuts, the accountants noted the scale of the reduction remains below the global average.

Those taking home less than $30,000 have seen their average tax bills reduce by nine per cent to 10 per cent overall.

By contrast, the average across all 26 markets studied by the accountants is a reduction of 11 per cent, from 27 per cent down to 16 per cent.

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UHY Hacker Young partner Mark Giddens said: “In contrast with the global trend over the last twenty years, the UK has decided to increase the tax burden for its higher earners.”

While those on lower incomes have seen an improvement, the amount of tax high earners should pay has been the subject of fierce debate. Even those on more modest incomes, the so-called 'squeezed middle', have felt the pinch, with a decrease in their disposable income.

The figures come as Philip Hammond prepares to reveal his first Autumn Statement, with a focus on the groups branded as "just about managing" or JAMs.

Hammond is expected to reveal a £1.3bn investment programme for Britain's roads, but speculation is also rife the chancellor may seek to lessen the burden on Britain's workers through a freeze in fuel duty and measures to encourage saving.

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