POLITICS
14/05/2014 10:19 BST | Updated 14/05/2014 10:59 BST

Richest 1% Doing Best Out Of UK Recovery, Official Figures Show

Britain's Chancellor George Osborne poses for the media with the traditional red dispatch box outside his official residence at 11 Downing Street in London, as he departs to deliver his annual budget speech to the House of Commons, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Britain's Chancellor George Osborne poses for the media with the traditional red dispatch box outside his official residence at 11 Downing Street in London, as he departs to deliver his annual budget speech to the House of Commons, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The richest 1% have been the biggest winners out of the UK's economic recovery that has so far come about under George Osborne's chancellorship, according to official figures.

Analysis of HM Revenue & Customs figures by the House of Commons Library found the top 1%, around 300,000 people, enjoyed an increased share of after-tax income from 8.2% in 2012-2013 to 9.8% in the following financial year.

By contrast, the bottom 90%, around 27 million people, saw their share fall from 71.3% to 70.4%.

The estimates are contained in the latest "Income Tax Liabilities Statistics" published by HMRC and cover 2012, the year when Osborne cut the top rate of income tax on earnings over £150,000.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said that the analysis provoked that ordinary workers had been "left behind".

"David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to claim the cost-of-living crisis is over, but these official figures expose what's really happening under the Tories," he said.

"With the help of a huge tax cut from this government the very richest are feeling a recovery, but everyone else is being left behind as growth finally returns. What we need is a recovery for the many, not just a few at the top.

"That's why we need to reform our economy to mend the broken link between the wealth of the nation and the living standards of hardworking Britain. The Conservatives are so out of touch they don't even understand there's a problem."

However Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, expressed scepticism about the figures.

"There was a tax cut of the 50% rate to 45% in the years being compared so it isn't rocket science that the higher income earners would be better off in the comparison period. Therefore a longer term comparison would make more sense," he told HuffPostUK.

"In addition, it would be useful to encourage such debate to also encompass the benefits regime, and to count tax rates and tax credits together."

See also: 10 tax rises George Osborne could do to avoid £25bn more spending cuts

10 Tax Rises To Avoid £25 Billion Extra Cuts