Today the Institute for Fiscal Studies published an analysis of the likely impact of the tax and benefit changes due in April, with a complicated and mixed picture summarised by its balanced headline: “Rich to lose most from new measures in April, as 750,000 brought into higher rate tax“.
The media coverage however has been to latch onto the second half of that headline and bury the first part a long way down the story. Take The Independent, with its headline Teachers and nurses dragged into top-rate bracket. It goes on to point out how some tube drivers also will end up top rate tax payers (which myself I think raises rather at least as many questions about the level of pay for tube drivers as it does about where the top rate comes in).
That is one notch of journalistic quality above The Guardian story which doesn’t mention the rich to lose most at all. I mean, it’s not as if The Guardian ever takes an interest in how the rich and poor are affected relative to each other is it…?
Of the mainstream news outlets I’ve checked at the time of writing, it is only the Financial Times which leads with the rich to lose most, which may be something to do with the background of their typical reader…