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Yet another simple answer

The chair of the Charity Commission, Orlando Fraser, said the UK’s top 1% of earners were giving less to charity than they were a decade ago, despite enjoying significant increases in their personal wealth over the same period.


Despite the reduction in the additional rate from 50% to 45% in April 2013, the share of total Income Tax liabilities accounted for by the top 1% of taxpayers by income rose from 25.1% (£39bn of £157bn total) in 2012-13 to 28.3% (£71bn of £251bn total) in 2022-23.

You mean that if you take more off people in tax then they’ll give less to charity? That tax and charity are substitutes for each other?

Well I never. What a horror of a surprise that is then.

24 thoughts on “Yet another simple answer”

  1. Another factor worth considering is that as “charities” increasingly become political campaigning groups constantly burnishing their progressive credentials they might be alienating those donors who supported their original purpose. The RNLI would be one example among many.

  2. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    No idea if I am a top 1% earner (globally without question), but have completely stopped all giving. The omniscient leaders of the Reich give away at least half of my income to just anyone who comes along and asks for it. I figure that’s enough charity.

    Plus, what TMB said, in spades. See above. I fund more than enough woke already.

    Incidentally, they make the same wealth/income stoopid everyone does, basically stuck in class war thinking. Today’s top 1% earners are not all the same as 10 years ago. In fact I’d expect that percentile to undergo far more churn than any other bracket of interest, as it includes a lot of brink of retirement people, and high pressure jobs that people tire of quickly.

  3. Given that the high profile charities are essentially government funded,the only difference is whether your contributions are voluntary or coerced

  4. Mr Bison, IMO, Oxfam is the worst offender, speedily followed by Wateraid. Both have strayed from their laudable charitable objectives into overt political propaganda. Grrr!

  5. Also, an increase in wealth in an age of rock-bottom interest rates is likely to be a change in valuation, which will just as soon reverse as interest rates rise, rather than an accumulation of income.

  6. I wonder if Mr Fraser makes mention of any increase in salaries paid to, and perks enjoyed by, these charities CEOs or department managers? Selective accounting?

  7. I stopped donating to RNLI when they went woke. I still get begging emails from them, demonstrating their incompetent handling of their database – no GDPR concerns for them!

  8. “Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Today’s top 1% earners are not all the same as 10 years ago.”

    Not that I can be certain it’s correct but I did read that in the US, around 11% of individuals are, at some point in their careers, in the top1% of earners.

    People start out, they reach a peak, they retire. There was a point in time when even Bill Gates wasn’t in the 1%

    As BitFR points out, the Left’s idea that there is some fixed 1% is wrong.

    But it’s harder to whip up hate against 11% of the population than 1%, especially as the aspiration of many is to at some point be in that 1%.

  9. Andrew, the WSJ used to publish a study of the 400 top taxpayers each year. As you would expect, very few made the list twice as most income reported were capital gains, suggesting a significant one-off sales of some asset.

    A Look at the Tax Returns of the Top 400 Taxpayers
    By David Wessel
    Feb. 17, 2010 7:02 pm ET
    The top 400 U.S. individual taxpayers got 1.59% of the nation’s household income in 2007, according to their tax returns, three times the slice they gotin the 1990s, according to the Internal Revenue Service. They paid 2.05% of all individual income taxes in that year.

    In its annual update of the taxes paid by the 400 best-off taxpayers, who aren’t identified, the IRS also said that only 220 of the top 400 were in the topmarginal tax bracket. The 400 best-off taxpayers paid an average tax rate of 16.6%, lower than in any year since the IRS began making the reports in 1992.

    To make the top 400, a taxpayer had to have income of more than $138.8 million. As a group, the top 400 reported $137.9 billionin income, and paid $22.9 billion in federal income taxes.

    About 81.3% of the income of the top 400 households came in the form of capital gains, dividends or interest, the IRS data show. Only 6.5% came in the form of salaries and wages.

    Over the past 16 tax years 3,472 different taxpayers showed up in the top 400 at least once. Of these taxpayers, a little
    more than 27% appear more than once. In any given year, about 40% percent of the top-400 returns were filed by taxpayers who weren’t in that exclusive club in any of the 15 years .

    In all, the IRS received nearly 143 million individual tax returns for 2007, the year that ended with the onset of the worst recession in decades.

    Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

  10. “The omniscient leaders of the Reich give away at least half of my income to just anyone who comes along and asks for it. I figure that’s enough charity.”

    Living in Canada. Same here – I’ve found no charities in the last year that won’t waste my money on the wholly undeserving.

  11. ‘pay your fair share in taxes’

    “Ok, we did”

    ‘but you stopped giving to charity!’

    “You said giving my money to government was the more fair way to do it”

  12. Can anyone name any charities that might still be worth supporting? I’d quite like to know of some. Haven’t donated since giving up on the RNLI.

  13. I’m a fan of Mary’s Meals. Just does what it says on the tin, makes school lunch for poor kiddies in poor places. Big, well o0rganised and very, very, lean charity.

    I’m also a fan of the one taka lunch: and Small, not really audited, most unlikely to pass any such audits. But good folk doing good things.

    That’s where my fee for my Bangladesh columns goes. That fee feeds some 80 kids per week – one meal per week each. Nothing fancy, just a stomach busting plate of rice, eggs and veggies. In a very slight and not really way I sorta aided in starting that. I signed over those payments (hey, I couldn’t get them back to me anyway, given FX controls) and Ashraf started to spend it on Ramadan lunches for poor kids – a Muslim tradition. Adults don’t eat during the day that month, which means no cooking for the kids. But kids can and would like to eat etc. But given that the money was coming in each and every month they had a secure income stream to expand. Of course, now that column money is a pretty trivial part of their cash flow. Dunno, maybe 5%? Summat?

  14. BiFR and M. Same here. I pay >43% of wages in tax and national insurance. And then I pay VAT, stamp duty, fuel duty, council tax, insurance premium tax, air passenger duty, road fund (tax) with what is left over. Lucky enough to be in the top 1% at the moment but have been much lower. Never get anything back from the state who have comprehensively mucked everything up.

    I need to save as much as a can to make my own family more resilient. Maybe if the benevolent state had encouraged that they wouldn’t need to tax everyone.

  15. “Can anyone name any charities that might still be worth supporting? I’d quite like to know of some. Haven’t donated since giving up on the RNLI.”

    Animal charities are quite good, if a) you like animals and b) you chose the little ones, local animal rescue places, that sort of thing. I support one down in Pembrokeshire (I have friends who live there and are heavily involved):

    Very hard working small group of people doing great work for abandoned animals in a part of the country that isn’t overflowing with cash.

    I also chuck a few quid every now and again to the place that Tim has mentioned on here that he has had contact with in Bangladesh:

    I figure it’ll do more good there than giving it to a load of middle class tossers in the UK playing at politics even if some Bangladeshi bloke is living the high life on it.

    Another good bet is your local Lions club, if you have one. Its like the Rotary club, a charitable organisation with local branches but all affiliated to a main international body:

    My local one has its own little charity shop, and raises about £20-30k/yr which it distributes to good causes. I happen to know of it because I store their Santa Sleigh for them in a spare bit of space on my farm. All volunteers, no salaries, mostly local causes supported, though I think some does go to other Lions clubs overseas.

  16. I recently expressed the hope that The Salvation Army was still a decent charity but someone (probably here) disabused me of the notion. It would have been an irony, an atheist supporting god-botherers, but I’d have done it if they’d had a clean bill of health.

    So for us a two-pronged attack (i) less to charity (ii) and that to local ones only.

  17. I donate to my local RNLI’s target appeals, which go to the specific local target, not to the general pool. Being in north yorkshire, there is a dearth of Albanians attemping to land on our beaches.

  18. jgh but as a West Riding landlubber it was the treatment of the Whitby crew that meant I would never contribute another penny…

  19. England has had 36 Kings.
    I earn just over £10/hour, £10.83 tbp, and including free stuff like wikipedia and recipes, I’m richer than all of them except the last one.

    My current gripe is begging emails from Tree Aid (nice DfID pmt in their accounts) to say that planting trees makes a return in Ghana and Burkina Faso. So I asked why do the smallholders there need my money if investment makes a profit, and they said because they don’t have the capital. So I said that those two countries are now richer than the UK was in 1822, and how did smallholders in UK raise their capital then. Waiting their reply

  20. According to IFS figures from 2019, to be in the top 1% nationally you need a pre-tax income of £160,000.

    Narrow the scope to London, male, aged 45-54, and you’d need an income of £700,000 to be in the top 1% of that group.

  21. @Tim – “I couldn’t get them [payments] back to me anyway, given FX controls”

    Well, it’s an alternative to making a record.

    @Bongo – “I asked why do the smallholders there need my money if investment makes a profit, and they said because they don’t have the capital.”

    The solution to that is something like Grameen Bank to provide suitable loans. Charity is needed when there is insufficient profit.

  22. I like Emmaus – takes homeless people and gradually rehabilitates them into having a life, a job and a home.
    Also the Leprosy Mission (does what it says, heals people with Leprosy, then helps them enter a community where they are not treated as unclean pariahs)

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