A medic has today hit back at a Question Time audience member who wrongly declared ‘every doctor in the country earns more than £80,000.’
IT consultant Rob Barber launched a tirade on the BBC show last week, when he suggested ‘doctors earn more than £80,000’ as he slammed Jeremy Corbyn’s stringent plan to ‘super-tax’ hard-working Britons.
His argument has now prompted a furious response from NHS specialist Dr Asif Munaf, who shared his payslip online as he confirmed he earns £48,000-a-year.
In his scathing riposte Dr Asif, a Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar who once appeared on Dragon’s Den, said Mr Barber was ‘terribly misinformed.’
He tweeted: ‘I spent 6 years at medschool and a further 7 years of specialist training and I get paid £48,000. He needs to #factscheck and use some of his £80,000 on a new shirt and trim.’
Dr Asif said he works some 40 hours a week and his earnings cover a single salary household with an 18-month-old son.
Dr Asif Munaf, who shared his payslip online as he confirmed he earns £48,000-a-year, in response to a Question Time debate
Dr Asif, a Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar who once appeared on Dragon’s Den, said Mr Barber was ‘terribly misinformed’
Dr Asif said he works some 40 hours a week and his earnings cover a single salary household with an 18-month-old son
Last week Mr Barber, a 38-year-old IT consultant and high-profile motorcycle racer, argued with shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon over his party’s policy of imposing £83billion in new taxes.
But he had some viewers scratching their heads after claiming he was not in the top 5 per cent of earners, despite saying his salary was more than £80,000.
Mr Barber said: ‘Every doctor, every accountant, every solicitor earns more than that, that’s not 5 per cent!’.
Dr Asif Munaf, a doctor, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur and personal trainer, tweeted in response: ‘This guy is terribly misinformed. “All doctors get paid more than £80,000”.
‘I spent 6 years at medschool and a further 7 years of specialist training and I get paid £48,000.
‘He needs to #factscheck and use some of his £80,000 on a new shirt and trim.’
His tweet has since garnered more than 2,000 likes and see hundreds share their own earnings and stories.
Many praised his cutting response and thanked him for his work.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘The NHS consultant pay scale starts below £80K and those doctors will have a minimum of 8 years postgraduate experience working in and serving the NHS. Brilliant staff grade doctors don’t ever hit that salary and they are tremendously skilled and experienced.’
The NHS specialist said: ‘I spent 6 years at medschool and a further 7 years of specialist training and I get paid £48,000’
Richard Barber accused Richard Burgeon’s party of railing against billionaires and the uber-wealthy, but actually pledging policies which would rinse the pockets of ordinary employees
Many Twitter users praised his cutting response and thanked the doctor for his work
Dr Asif is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and revealed how he came from a council estate in Sheffield and was five years old when he first realised he wanted to be a doctor.
In a blog post for the Royal College of Physicians, the father-of-one said: ‘However, growing up in the most educationally-deprived area in the country, this was more youthful audacity than achievable reality.
‘In spite of our surroundings, there was certainly no poverty of aspiration.
‘I hope my story can inspire other doctors from different walks of life to consider a career in medicine, so that medicine retains this very unique sense of diversity.’
Dr Asif works as a Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar at The Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, is an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur, holds a Masters in Public Health and is also a Level 3 REPS accredited Personal Trainer.
He appeared on Series 15 of Dragons Den where he pitched his smoothie company ‘DATE Smoothie’ and attempted to win a £50,000 investment for a 10 per cent stake.
But he was turned away by the dragons, who said his ‘thinking was completely wrong in terms of his brand’.
Dr Asif appeared on Series 15 of Dragons Den where he pitched his smoothie company ‘DATE Smoothie’ and attempted to win a £50,000 investment for a 10 per cent stake
According to HMRC figures, the top 5 per cent bracket included anyone earning over £75,300 in 2016-17. Adjusting for wage rises since then, the threshold is probably now around £80,000
Who is right in the big Question Time high-earners debate?
What did Rob Barber claim?
Mr Barber complained he would be subject to Labour’s new 45p tax band as he earns more than £80,000.
He branded the party ‘liars’ because they claimed they were only increasing taxes for the top top 5 per cent of earners.
He insisted his income did not put him in that bracket – saying all doctors and lawyers earned more.
Mr Barber suggested he was not even in the top 50 per cent of earners.
He insisted many billionaires did not pay income tax as they were not employees.
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon retorted that anyone earning over £80,000 was in the top 5 per cent.
Who was right?
Mr Barber does appear to fall into the top 5 per cent of earners.
According to HMRC figures, that bracket included anyone earning over £75,300 in 2016-17.
Adjusting for wage rises since then, the threshold is probably now around £80,000.
Labour’s 45p rate would apply to earnings above the £80,000 level.
Do all lawyers and doctors earn more than £80,000?
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), the minimum salary for a GP in England is £58,000 – although many earn more than this.
The Law Society says the average salary for full-time solicitors is around £62,000.
Will billionaires be able to evade Labour’s income tax hikes?
It is true that many of the ultra-wealthy are not salaried employees.
They are able to channel money from businesses in a variety of ways to avoid income tax. Cash can be stashed offshore, or in other countries.
People with huge assets can also live off their capital, rather than taking salaries that would be subject to income tax, and control their incomes to stay clear of punitive rates.
Will earners outside the top 5 per cent be unscathed by Labour’s policies?
The respected IFS think-tank has dismissed Labour’s claim that only the top 5 per cent will have to pay more tax – saying it is not ‘credible’ and moves such as hikes to corporation tax will feed through to ordinary workers.
Increases in inheritance tax and scrapping the marriage allowance will also hurt lower earners.