Thursday, December 10, 2009

The right-wing notion of "middle-class"

For the Mail and the Telegraph, the top 10% richest people in Britain are "middle-class earners".

The pre-budget report has triggered an entirely predictable swirl of reactions from the usual suspects. According to Andrew Porter in the Telegraph, "middle classes [are] to be hit hard", echoing Tory criticism that Labour's pre-budget report is tantamount to none other than "class war".

The Daily Mail calls it "Clobbering the middle earners", adding elsewhere that "Darling vows to hammer middle classes".

So let's look at what those warped minds think the middle classes are and let's see what this looming "hammering" may consist of.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the median gross annual salary in the country stands at £20,801. Which precisely the point where people are being asked to chip in a little more so that the bottom half of the population can be helped.

And how much is 'a little more'? £7-50 a month if you're one of those poor souls earning £30,000 a year, which is the point where you enter the top 25% of the earnings pyramid. Woe betide them.

At £45,000 a year, where the club becomes even more exclusive (the richest 10% in the country- remember these are "middle-income earners" for the Mail) the "clobbering" will consist of £19-75 a month extra in tax.

As an example of a "middle class family [...] made to bear the brunt", the Mail cites the case of Mr Pritchard, a head of corporate responsibility on a heart-breaking £60,000 a year. "[i]t will directly affect our standard of living", is how the Mail quotes him, with the word "sacrifice" accompanying the caption. Look and learn, Mother Teresa.

This enormous sacrifice, incidentally, will allow very low, low and middle earners to receive a tiny discount.

For instance, the bottom 10 per cent of the UK population in employment (those earning a gross salary of under £14,000 a year), will be able to pay between £113 and £63 a year less in national insurance.

This is redistribution at its feeblest yet with their bombardment of "hammering", "clobbering" and "class-war", the right-wing are one step short from calling it bolshevism on British soil. God help us all.

1 comment:

Acidfairyy said...

Oh noez! Such a shame! £60,000 a year, the poor souls!