The Sunday Times rich list for 2015 reveals that the 1000 richest people living in the UK have doubled their wealth in the last decade and are now £547bn, not counting their bank accounts.
The list, includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.131 billion and 80 of them are based in London. It means the capital has more sterling billionaires than any other city in the world.
To get on the rich list you must have a fortune of £100 million.
That is £15m higher than last year’s minimum, while in 1997 it took a personal wealth of ‘just’ £15 million to make the list.
The wealth of the richest, under the Conservatives government has risen by a huge amount.
The UK’s five richest families now own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population.
A report by The Social Market Foundation revealed evidence of Britain’s rapidly growing wealth gap.
It found that the average wealth of the best-off one-fifth of families rose by 64 per cent between 2005 and 2012-13 as they put more money aside as a buffer against future shocks. They have average savings and investments of around £10,000 compared with £6,000 seven years earlier.
The SMF found the poorest 20 per cent are less financially secure than they were in 2005, with their net wealth falling by 57 per cent and levels of debt and use of overdrafts increasing.
In a report, a Tale of Two Britains, Oxfam said the poorest 20% in the UK had wealth totalling £28.1bn – an average of £2,230 each. The latest rich list from Forbes magazine showed that the five top UK entries – the family of the Duke of Westminster, David and Simon Reuben, the Hinduja brothers, the Cadogan family, and Sports Direct retail boss Mike Ashley – between them had property, savings and other assets worth £28.2bn.
Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Ben Phillips, said: “Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.
“It’s deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline.”
Oxfam said that for the first time more working households were in poverty than non-working ones, and predicted that the number of children living below the poverty line could increase by 800,000 by 2020. It said cuts to social security and public services were meshing with falling real incomes and a rising cost of living to create a “deeply damaging situation” in which millions were struggling to get by.
The IMF recently released research showing that the ever-greater concentration of wealth and income hindered growth and said redistribution would not just reduce inequality but would be economically beneficial.
“On average, across countries and over time, the things that governments have typically done to redistribute do not seem to have led to bad growth outcomes, unless they were extreme”, the IMF said in a research paper. “And the resulting narrowing of inequality helped support faster and more durable growth, apart from ethical, political or broader social considerations.”
Phillips said: “Increasing inequality is a sign of economic failure rather than success. It’s far from inevitable – a result of political choices that can be reversed. It’s time for our leaders to stand up and be counted on this issue.”
Under the Conservatives, we have seen Tax cuts for the wealthest , huge corporations paying low wages, making huge profits and paying no Tax in the UK.
The Tories have made massive cuts to the Welfare budget.
They have forced thousands of people into Workfare, meaning massive companies get free labour and get paid by the government to ’employ’ these people.
The Conservatives have allowed Workers to be paid very low wages by big business and used Tax payers money to make up the difference with Welfare, so workers can pay bills and rent, costing the Country £11bn a year.
Over a million people used food banks in the last year.
If the Tories are elected for another 5 years, they plan to cut a futher £12bn of Welfare, cut 30% to all government departments, cut the top rate of Tax for the richest.
They have to be stopped.
Vote on 7th May.