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Average worker shells out £1.25 an hour in tax

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Employees pay an average £1.25 an hour in direct and indirect tax with the daily contribution to the government amounting to more than £30, new analysis shows.

But only 69p an hour of the average worker’s tax bill is due to direct deductions from earnings including income tax and National Insurance. The rest comes from charges including VAT on spending, council tax and duty on a range of daily essentials, the research from Metlife found.

Indirect taxes – which are levied on goods and service – cost the average person nearly £5,000 a year – or 56p an hour, while income tax and National Insurance cost around £6,000.

The average direct and indirect tax bill adds up to more than £11,000 a year – the equivalent of 40% of average earnings, the analysis of Government data shows.

The daily tax bill peaks at £35 – nearly £1.50 an hour – for employees aged 40 to 49 while those aged between 18 and 21 only need to pay £6.47 a day or just 27p an hour. Employees aged 60-plus see their tax bill drop to around £23 a day.

Male workers enjoy higher salaries on average – and pay nearly double the direct and indirect tax that women pay – the average tax gap between men and women at £6,430. The average male employee pays £14,196 compared with £7,762 for women.

Simon Massey, wealth management director at MetLife UK, said: “Paying tax is one of the certainties of life and we all benefit from the work that central and local Government are able to do as a result.

“However £1.25 an hour adds up to a considerable amount over a lifetime and should help concentrate savers’ minds on how to ensure they are benefiting as much as possible from tax-free savings such as ISAs and tax breaks such as contributing to a pension.”


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