UK Policy Briefings
Why Wealth Tax is a Feminist Issue
Date Posted: Wednesday 14th June 2023
The World Inequality Report reveals that wealth inequality in the UK declined throughout the 20th century but began to increase again in the 1980s, with the top 1% of individuals holding 21.3% of total wealth in 2021. The under-taxation of wealth, as well as the lower taxation of capital gains compared to income from employment, exacerbates income and wealth disparities and reinforces existing gender gaps.
The gender gap in earnings creates a ripple effect on private pensions. Due to their caring responsibilities and structural discrimination, women tend to be in part-time, insecure, and precarious forms of work, including zero-hours contracts and self-employment. This restricts their ability to contribute to private pensions, resulting in lower lifetime savings, and significant gendered disparities in wealth.
In the Spring Budget 2023, the Government announced the abolition of the lifetime allowance for private pensions, starting this year. This move is projected to cost £835m in 2027/28, favouring men with larger pension pots and contributing to the gender pension gap.
“Non-doms” do not pay taxes for offshore income andcapital gains. Taxing this income could increase public revenues by £3.2bn per year and reduce gender inequality: 67% of non-domiciled taxpayers are men.
At the Women’s Budget Group, we argue that the taxation of wealth is a feminist issue because it can tackle gender inequality and raise public revenue to strengthen our social infrastructure.