HMRC reveal Devon workers rank among lowest paid in UK

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Devon workers have among the lowest average salaries in the UK according to data from the Government’s tax department.

The figures from HMRC show the average employee in East Devon took home £19,100 before tax in the 2016-17 financial year, £100 more than their counterparts in North Devon who made £19,000 before tax.

That’s significantly lower than the £23,600 median income across the UK.

Workers in the City of London have the highest median salary in the UK at £54,300, while employees in Boston, Lincolnshire, have the lowest, at just £17,600.

HMRC uses the median, the middle number in a series, instead of the mean average, so the figures are not distorted by extreme highs and lows. The data does not cover people who are self-employed.

Income inequality charity the Equality Trust says the figures, which reveal a gap of more than £35,000 between the UK’s richest and poorest areas, “paint a bleak picture for our society”.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, executive director of the Equality Trust, said: “These figures paint a bleak picture for our society, and we can see a huge divide between incomes in the north and the south [of the UK].

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“These gaps are further evidence of the shockingly high level of inequality in the UK, which we know is linked to poverty, mental and physical ill-health, and lower levels of social mobility.

“This damages us all, rich and poor.”

East Devon workers also faired lower than others across the South West, with Stroud, Gloucestshire, recording the highest income in the region at £22,800. West Somerset employees have the lowest at just £18,000. The median is £20,800.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a poverty and social mobility charity, urged the Government to focus on strengthening the economies of poorer areas in the UK.

Head of policy and partnerships Katie Schmuecker said: “We all want to live in a society where working hard means being able to improve life for your family, but too many working people are locked in poverty by low pay and high costs. That is not right.

“All parts of the UK need access to the jobs and skills that provide a route out of poverty, and incomes need to match the rising costs which leave many working families struggling to decide which bills they can pay.

“Until work provides a reliable route out of poverty, too many workers will struggle to make ends meet.”