So I did a little research and found this table: “TABLE 14: Average incomes, taxes and benefits by decile groups of ALL households, 2011/12” from the ONS.
It says a worker earning at the second decile / first quintile earns (including benefits) £15,456. 80% of the population earn more than he does, so he is safely labelled as “poor” even if he is not starving.
That worker pays £1,387 in direct taxes, and £3,602 in indirect taxes meaning he’s clobbered for 32% of his total income. Snowdon made it 37% of disposable income, very much higher, but if you take benefits out and compare earned income to total-tax then the figure is a whopping 71%.
Of course, if you add in estimates for his NHS medical care and free school meals, that sort of thing, on top of his benefits his net income is 260% of what he originally earned – a mere 7k. In fact, it is only the top four deciles that actually pay into the system.
I enclose my workings out. The numbers seem implausible even to me so corrections in the comments please.