To check this claim, FactCheck consulted the latest available Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) from the Department of Census and Statistics. The HIES is the main source of data in Sri Lanka on estimates of income share by households. Even though the MP uses the term national income, we assumed he was referring to the income reported in this national income survey, where the data is based on what is reported as income by households only – not commercial or other entities. (NB: The total incomes reported and estimated through the HIES are not expected to tally with the total national income as estimated by the Central Bank).
Estimates reported based on the HIES show that, in 2016, the wealthiest 10% of the population receiving 35.4% of the total reported household incomes.
Therefore, we classify the MP’s statement as TRUE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment.
Additional Note: Comparing with past HIES estimates suggests that the disparity of the income distribution has seen a reduction for a period: the share of income received by the wealthiest 10% has declined between 2012 and 2016, and the share of income of received by all other income deciles has increased (see Exhibit 1).
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