QT audience member thinks £80k income is less than average Watch

BasicMistake
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So I don't watch Question Time because I place little to no value on the opinions of the average audience member. This morning I came across a clip on Twitter that I feel pretty much vindicates me.

https://twitter.com/bbcquestiontime/...51546940608514

Essentially there's this guy criticising a Labour MP for lying about their taxation plans. He argues that by increasing taxes on those earning over £80k per year, Labour are hitting people like him who are outside of the top 5% of earners.

Unfortunately for this man, according to ONS1, if you earn £83k a year, that puts you in the 96th percentile in terms of income in the UK.

That's not even considering the fact that this edition of QT was held in Bolton/Greater Manchester where the gross disposable household income (GDHI) per head is around 20% lower than the UK average2.

This makes the man's claim that "I'm not even in the top 50%" even more hilarious. 50% is an annual income of £23,600 by the way.

It's almost unbelievable that someone who earns more than 95% of the population can think he earns less than most. Maybe there's a self-selection effect going on where the people who go on QT aren't the brightest or the most self-aware but regardless this is poor. If this is in any way reflective of the general electorate, we deserve everything coming to us. It also makes me more sympathetic to the idea of lowering the voting age because in terms of an informed electorate, I don't see it getting much worse.


1 https://www.gov.uk/government/statis...-and-after-tax

2 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/regio...holdincomegdhi
Last edited by BasicMistake; 3 weeks ago
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Drewski
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(Original post by BasicMistake)
It's almost unbelievable that someone who earns more than 95% of the population can think he earns less than most.
Why is it?

I mean, we know he's wrong, and even if you didn't know, most people could have a pretty good guess, but if you're in a high paying industry and get used to that, it no longer feels that unusual.

And when there's so much spoken about the people who earn millions, it can seriously skew your own perspective.
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BasicMistake
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(Original post by Drewski)
Why is it?

I mean, we know he's wrong, and even if you didn't know, most people could have a pretty good guess, but if you're in a high paying industry and get used to that, it no longer feels that unusual.

And when there's so much spoken about the people who earn millions, it can seriously skew your own perspective.
I fully understand that relative incomes tend to factor more into people's decision making. You see surveys where very very few people ever consider themselves to be rich.

It's perfectly reasonable to not know the 95th percentile of incomes off the top of your head. I myself had to go check. That said, if you earn over £80k I would assume that you are intelligent enough to realise that you're not poorer than the average person in the UK. Even if you are in a high-paying industry, I would have thought walking down the street (and in Bolton, not exactly the City) would give some indication that you are somewhat more well-off than most people.
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the bear
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not everyone is as rich as Jezza

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Justvisited
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The "not even in top 50%" remark only makes sense if he meant that people in the UK earning more than him earn, in total, more than 50% of the grand total of individual incomes in the UK. That might well be true, I don't know.

But yeah, it's like, does he really think that cooks and cleaners and McDonald's workers and casual retail staff etc., all earn similar to himself? Or does he not simply know as an item of general knowledge that average (both mean and median) income in the UK is definitely lower than £30k?

What really surprised me wasn't that one individual might be badly mistaken, but that he wasn't immediately howled down by the audience in general when he claimed £80k wasn't 5% - there was barely a murmur. Meanwhile the woman next to him shouted "Rubbish" when the Labour panel member said that as a solicitor he made £40k, as though a man wouldn't even know his own salary! I read yesterday that an average lawyer makes £70k so yeah, if you're making over £80k as a lawyer you're defo in an upper bracket even within your own high-ranking profession. Sympathised with that guy for having a lot of nonsense thrown at him, and for still dealing with it calmly.
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QE2
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(Original post by BasicMistake)
That said, if you earn over £80k I would assume that you are intelligent enough to realise that you're not poorer than the average person in the UK.
One thing he made perfectly clear was that he isn't intelligent enough. He thought every doctor, accountant and solicitor earns over £80!
Maybe he works in the family business or summat. I know someone who went straight from school into a position as a director in the family construction business. Thick as effluent and while I don't know how much he's on, he drives an Audi RS4.
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Napp
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(Original post by QE2)
One thing he made perfectly clear was that he isn't intelligent enough. He thought every doctor, accountant and solicitor earns over £80!
You can definitely say that again, half the junior doctors are paid absolute peanuts.
Although i can think of worse things than cutting the pay of ambulance chasers
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