I was somewhat startled to read a claim this week that the previous Labour government had the lowest overall tax burden on high incomes of any government since Victorian times.
Although they make a big thing of George Osborne setting the top tax rate 45 pence in the pound, they kept it at 50 pence in the pound for all but a few weeks of their period in office. If you follow the logic of their claim that the current government has given top earners a cheque for £45,000, then by the same token they gave Richard Branson and his ilk over £1 million. But then this was the same Labour government where one of its cabinet ministers said in public that he had no problem with people being "filthy rich" - presumably to ensure invitations to congenial parties on yachts.
The above tables graphically illustrate the change in the income tax burden between the coalition government and Labour - with the coalition taxing the riches more and the poorer less. They come from the political blog of Guido Fawkes, but they are no less accurate for that. Of course it is tough out there for many people, I would like to see even more of a burden being put on the shoulders of those best able to bear it. But the direction of travel is right.