When people talk about the famed one percent, it’s usually with a rather envious and sneering tone.
The amount required to tick over into this elite category varies wildly from country to country. For example, if you want those bragging rights in the United Arab Emirates, you need to take home a cool $891 000 (around R12,7 million) before tax.
The same qualifying criteria in India requires earnings of “just” $81 000 (around R1,15 million) before tax.
We’ll get to South Africa in a second, but before we do, here’s BusinessTech with how the numbers are crunched:
The graphs are based on a variety of data sources including the World Inequality Database, KPMG’s worldwide tax data and the Knight Frank Wealth report.
“Since the financial crisis, income inequality has garnered increasing attention from economists, politicians, and journalists, and perhaps no income level has been cited more than the so-called 1 percent,” said Bloomberg researcher Ben Steverman.
“Yet that term can describe a wide variety of earners, depending on where they live,” he said.
Right, to the graph:
There we are, ticking over at $162 000 a year, pre-tax.
Using an exchange rate of R14,27 to the US Dollar, that’s a cool R2,3 million a year, or around R193 000 a month. That’s a very decent job you have there, or maybe you’re SARS’ Chief Officer for Digital Information Services and Technology, Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane.
She makes it with plenty of change to spare, proving that you should never let your qualifications get in the way of a good job.
If we are talking about the one percent, we also need to talk about each country’s respective tax rates:
France, Austalia, China, the UK and South Africa all have a top marginal tax rate of more than 40%, while citizens in Bahrain and the UAE pay no marginal tax rate at all.
“In most of the developed world, 1 percenters don’t keep everything they make,” said Steverman
“A significant share of their income is earmarked for the government. In many countries, the highest income tax rate applies to only a portion of the 1 percent.”
Another graph to illustrate that point:
Looking at that above, it’s not hard to see why there’s talk of a tax revolt here at home. Here we are forking out all this dosh, and it’s being used to bail out state-owned enterprises that have been run into the ground through corruption and mismanagement.
Anyway, congrats to the one percent, I guess (said with the afore-mentioned envious and sneering tone).
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