How much do you have to earn to be rich? Catch up on our live look at the week

Version 8 of 10.

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See you next time!

Thanks for taking part in a broad ranging conversation today. The upcoming general election dominated, but there was room for some interesting side issues, so do take a look back at the conversation if you are arriving late. You can also still vote in our poll (and see what others have been saying) about Theresa May’s refusal to do live televised debates. Oh, and here’s the most important post of the day one more time:

Just in case anyone on here isn't registered to vote, here is the link

Please register and vote in June, we can all make a difference

We’ll be back next week, but in the meantime, as ever, welcome your feedback. Tell us what you think we should talk about in this space in the comments (they’ll remain open for a while) or via email ( or We’ll look forward to hearing from you.

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Video of the week: how would you prepare for the apocalypse?

Richard Sprenger meets the people – labelled “preppers” – who are getting ready for a near-disaster they see as immediately possible given the global political situation.

Have you watched the film? What did you think? Are you making plans for the end of the world? What would be your priority if you were heading down to the bunker?

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Should we let 16-18 year-olds vote?

Polly Toynbee

Do politics or politics will do you. That’s the pithy message of Bite the Ballot.

Voters – the old – are bribed with hard cash taken from pockets of non-voters – the poor and young: politicians can ignore non-voters. The vast shift in wealth from the young to the old over the last generation is a scandal – but it only happens because the young won’t vote. As the population ages, the odds tip further against the young. So we should include 16-18-year-olds. But in exchange, make it compulsory, with good citizenship classes and teachers leading students to the polling station. Those who vote once usually keep voting for life.

Share your thoughts below.


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That question of wealth and being rich is still a hot topic below the line.

The real issue is not of being rich or not, but of having enough to get by or not. We live in a world where a few individuals command the same economic resources, which they inevitably waste on vain perks for themsleves, as hundreds of millions of people. Not sure if any other specie on the planet quite manages that. Was rather funny to see Gates preaching the other day to the British govt to not curtail overseas aid. How about making Windows free open source software? Will save people worldwide huge amounts to spend instead on health and education.

But Alfie’s bit on The Simpsons has got some of you talking, too...

Favourite Simpsons gag is DuffMan's exclamations:

Duff Man with plastic bag (or something) over his head - "Duff Man! Can't Breath! Oh No!"


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We’re always keen to hear what you’d like to talk about or whether you have a particular writer you’d like to hear from – particularly if there’s a piece you’ve enjoyed or had a question about in the past week. Do let us know in the comments!

3.28pm BST


What is your favourite Simpsons gag?

Alfie Packham

Away from politics again briefly, here’s our colleague Alfie Packham talking TV.

Even if you’re not a real fan of The Simpsons, you can probably name most tertiary characters introduced to the show since 1995. You may also possess an inexplicable mug or pair of slippers with Homer Simpson’s face on them. That’s just how culturally ubiquitous this cartoon has become.

This week marks The Simpsons’ 30th anniversary, which, at over 600 episodes, is soon set to be the longest-running US primetime show ever. To mark the occasion, Sam Thielman traced the Simpsons’ biggest milestones in a timeline, starting with their 1987 debut on the Tracey Ullman show.

So what’s your favourite Simpsons gag? I’ll start with the obvious: Sideshow Bob and the rakes.

3.15pm BST


Back to the idea of taxing the “rich” now, in relation to John McDonnell’s comments earlier in the week:

I think that it's a valid point that those on £70k and above can afford to pay a bit more NI and tax without choosing if kids are eating or not making the rent. Your not likely to need to visit a food bank on £70k

It isn't those on 70k who should be targeted it's the super rich and multi nationals.As usual McDonnell and co have no idea how ordinary people actually think.

A £70k salary makes you very wealthy in Uk terms. Silly to argue otherwise.

But it is still morally wrong for the state to take more of someone's wages than they get to keep. 40% seems to me like a fair upper limit that doesn't crush aspiration.

BUT! We should be ending all the tax avoiding schemes, self-incorporation, dividends, bonuses and other tricks that allow the wealthy to avoid paying the actual top rate of tax.

And we need to start looking at taxing property differently.We should be extending the council tax bands to better reflect the wealth held by homeowners at the upper end of the market.


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2.58pm BST


'Share it, solve it': a new project for Instagram

Is there a person in your life who you can call a mentor? If the answer is ‘yes’ that’s great news. Hold on to them. If the answer is ‘no’, we hope it’s only a matter of time before you meet someone you can connect and grow with.

In the meantime, we’ve teamed up with a group of women who are inspiring, thoughtful and experienced. They’ve answered some of your career-related questions and dilemmas in a new series we’ve launched on Instagram Stories called Share it, solve it: mentoring on the go. Our ambition is to offer women around the world support and solidarity. You can check it out on our Instagram account: @guardian before 5PM BST today (stories expire after 24 hours).

If you have a question you’d like us to tackle next, you can direct message us on Instagram or email with ‘Share it, solve it’ in the subject line.

Excited to share a new series on @guardian'a Insta Stories. Check it out & DM me if you'd like to be a future mentor

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We also like to highlight some of the other ways you can get involved with projects here at the Guardian, not only through our website. Next up ... Instagram.


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Here’s another reader (following on from our post at 12.38) disappointed at the state of play for UK citizens living abroad and what that means for their voting rights.

How do you feel about another general election?

Well, as a British citizen in mainland Europe I was very angry at not being allowed a say in my own future. Brexit affects my right to live, work and ownn property where I was encouraged to move to after being made redundant in the UK, yet I was not allowed a vote! In order to quieten the ourcry against this injustice, May promised that we British citizens who were not allowed to vote in the referendum because we actually used our right of freedom of movement, would in future be allowed to vote in British General Elections.

Although I am sure this promise will be as worthless as all her other promises, we need to pressure her to keep it so that we can vote in this election.

Here’s a just-published Guardian news story on the matter:

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We’ll start to introduce some more topics again soon, including some that you might have a little fun with if politics isn’t your thing.

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Here are a couple of your thoughts so far on wealth:

are you rich if you earn at least £70,000 a year?

All relative, innit? You live alone in London and rent in the private sector you certainly won't feel it

Imagine, if you will, that we decide to tax people on a global scale - a standard rate across the world.

In the UK, you would be in the top 5% of earners, on a salary of about £14k. So you are taxed an additional rate due to being 'rich'. But this isn't fair, is it, because the cost of living in Mozambique is a lot cheaper than here - you aren't rich, but it is agreed that globally that is where 'rich' starts, and you are taxed accordingly.

That's the £70k debate within the UK - £70k in Yorkshire, you will live like a king. £70k in London, well, you probably won't be able to buy a flat.

Living costs are really important in this debate.

2.14pm BST


How much do you have to earn to be rich?

Charlotte Seager

This question was thrown into sharp focus this week when Labour MP John McDonnell told the BBC Labour would be “looking to the corporations and to the rich to pay their share”.

When pressed to define the rich, McDonnell said it would include those earning “above £70,000 to £80,000 a year”.

Many took up the question on Twitter, and unsurprisingly opinions were divided. The reality is that most people don’t earn more than £70,000 a year: according to data from HMRC earning this amount would put you in the top 5% of UK taxpayers.

On Thursday, Emily Thornberry defended John McDonnell’s definition of rich, but conceded “there are many people on £70,000 who may well feel that … they are not rich”.

We’d like to know where readers stand on this debate: are you rich if you earn at least £70,000 a year?


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Lost and found – 14 years on

Matthew Holmes

Away from politics I love this story by our colleague Tim Burrows, who lost his wallet at a festival over a decade ago and became a drinking game for the group of lads who found it.

Tim tweeted the tale, and has since been fielding calls from journalists around the world.

Feel like a harassed PA to my drunken 19-year-old self

Do you have a similar story you think could go viral?

1.57pm BST


Right – we’re as exhausted as some of you seem to be ...

How do I feel about another election?

Despite being interested in politics to the point of obsession I felt like banging my head on the desk when May made her announcement. Last year we had a lot of focus in our area on the Labour leadership election, from July through to September, and prior to that our Assembly elections in May, plus the Referendum. Now in less than 2 weeks there's the council elections coupled with the GE and I think most people feel exhausted at the prospect.

... so will move on to introduce some other discussion points shortly. You can of course continue to discuss all things election-related below.

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Amid all this discussion, this reader’s point seems rather important:

Just in case anyone on here isn't registered to vote, here is the link

Please register and vote in June, we can all make a difference

1.39pm BST


The big news? George Osborne's exit from the Commons

Frances Ryan

This week saw a wave of Labour MPs stand down from contesting the election but the big news was George Osborne’s exit from the Commons. It’s quite a fall for an ex-chancellor who, with a turn of the fates, could now be prime minister. Osborne will just have to make the best of a £650,000 deal with BlackRock, £800,000 for speaking gigs, a £120,000 stipend, a major book deal, and editing a daily newspaper.

In a further loss to democracy, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage – so gloriously defeated in 2015 – announced he wouldn’t be standing this time around. Comfort yourselves with the knowledge Arron Banks – Ukip’s former main financial backer and full time charmer – has confirmed he will.