EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

23rd April 1940

A Budget was announced today, with Income Tax at 7/6 in the pound. Who cares at £3 per week?

Eric was earning £3 a week as an Assistant Curator at Colchester Castle Museum - slightly under the average working man's wage of £3-9s in 1939.


Barbara Butler said...

Presumably at £3 a week Eric did not qualify for income tax. It depends at what level of wage the 7/6 in the £ kicked in. It was very high. 7/6 in the £ is the equivalent of 37.5 pence.My mother worked for the Post Office in London in 1940 and had a higher wage than her fiance (my father) who was in the army and stationed at GHQ.

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks for your helpful insight on this, it certainly puts the wartime income tax burden into context! I suspect Eric did not qualify for income tax and clearly the armed forces were not very highly paid either. CP

E J Rudsdale said...

George Orwell's wartime diaries provide further context on the increased levels of income tax levied on higher wage earners - see his entry for 9 August 1940 at: www.orwelldiaries.wordpress.com/2010/08/
Peter Davison's accompanying notes on Orwell's Diaries confirm that income tax was levied on only the top 20% of earners in 1939 and clearly Eric Rudsdale did not fall into this category on only £3 a week. CP