Residents in Blackpool are paying less income tax on average than anywhere else in the country, according to new figures.
But rather than being good news for the town, business leaders today warned it is a reflection of low wages.
Income tax payments cost the average British taxpayer £4,985, research by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young shows.
However Blackpool comes last out of 401 areas, with residents making average payments of £2,290 a year, a decrease of 4.6 per cent from £2,400 a year ago.
By stark contrast, at the other end of the table taxpayers in Elmbridge, part of the Surrey commuter belt, make the biggest contribution of almost £16,600 a year on average.
Hugh Evans, policy director at the North and Western Chamber of Trade, said: “This is reflective of annual salaries which are low in Blackpool.
“But a lot of wage earners in the town are working part-time or may have seasonal work and people have to supplement their wages.
“Levels of income support are also higher in Blackpool than elsewhere.
“So this is no surprise.
“It is recognition of where we are in Blackpool and underlines the challenges we face to build Blackpool back up again and diversify it from a low wage economy.
“The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and the Lancashire Growth Plan specifically mention the need to see that Blackpool benefits from new investment coming into the county.”
Average gross household income in Blackpool before tax was £29,000 to £30,000, according to Lancashire County Council figures for 2013, compared to £34,200 for Lancashire as a whole.
The research discovered that taxpayers who live in the South East of England make the biggest income tax contribution, with 28 of the top 30 regions located in the ‘stockbroker belt’ towns.
Mark Giddens, Head of Private Client Services at UHY, said that the Government was becoming increasingly reliant on the wealthiest parts of the South Eastern commuter belt and London for income.
He added: “The Government has increased the tax burden on high earners since the credit crunch.
“Higher taxation of wealthy individuals in the South East has proven to be an effective means to boost tax receipts.”