Row over income tax for top earners

Gordon Brown is facin growing criticism of his legacy as Chancellor after it emerged that only a small minority of Britain's highest earners pay any income tax.

Of the hundreds of UK-based people who either earn, or are capable of earning £10 million a year, only 65 face income tax bills, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The disclosure came amid heightened concerns about the tax regime, which critics claimed was more favourable for the wealthiest sections of society. It also followed a warning from a close business ally of Mr Brown that the gulf between rich and poor could lead to rioting in the streets.

There are thought to be at least 400 UK-based people who either earn, or are capable of earning, £10 million a year. However, all but 65 avoid paying income tax, according to freedom of information statistics obtained by London's Evening Standard newspaper.

Brown under pressure over tax bills (Channel 4 News, 21 June 2007)