In 2010/11 British men collectively paid £64.2 billion more income tax than British women – the phenomenon known as the ‘gender tax gap’. In the following year they paid £68.2 billion more. It seems unlikely that the gender tax gap reduced in the subsequent two tax years, it probably rose yet further – we have a FoI request at HMRC to get the numbers – but we’ll use the 2011/12 figure of £68.2 billion for the purpose of this post.
What is the £68.2 billion spent on? While people imagine that the National Insurance and other taxes they pay later fund their pensions and other benefits they receive as pensioners, the plain truth is that benefits paid to pensioners are paid from current tax receipts, most notably income tax.
We’ve just received this FoI response from the Department for Work and Pensions. Unusually for a FoI response, the letter writer isn’t identified, and it arrived by email with an apology. We note the date on the letter is 24 September, only nine days earlier than the true date. I digress. The letter provides interesting data for the three main benefits pensioners received in 1993/94, 2003/04 and 2013/14, by gender. The benefits are:
– State Pension
– Income Support (Minimum Income Guarantee) / Pension Credit
– Winter Fuel Payment
We’ve analysed the numbers – here. It turns out that in 2013/14, female pensioners received £13.7 billion more in benefits than male pensioners. So that’s 20% of the 2013/14 £68.2 billion gender tax gap accounted for.