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Post-crash inequality has really hit the fan

It seems almost indecent to recount that the richest 400 Americans now own, staggering as it may seem, no less than£1.4 trillions, a collective fortune slightly bigger than the Russian economy. The latest figures also reveal that in the US 95% of the gains from the recovery have gone to the richest 1% of the population.

Their share of overall income is now close to the highest level in a century. The most unequal country in the Western world is now becoming even more so. A similar pattern is now emerging in the UK.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, published each year in April, the richest 1,000 Britons who constitute just 0.003% of the population have increased their wealth in the last year alone by £35bn, and by a stunning £190bn over the 4 years since the crash. Within the top 2% of the population HMRC records that there were 4,000 persons paid more than £1 million a year in 1999, but this became 10,000 by 2010 and then a huge rise to 18,000 by 2013.

This contrasts with the findings of the Resolution Foundation that the economic downturn in the UK had pushed another 1.4 million employees below the living wage (£8.45 an hour in London and £7.55 elsewhere in the country) widely regarded as necessary for a basic standard of living in Britain.

Altogether the study ‘Low Pay Britain 2013′ found that no less than a fifth of all employees – 4.8 million Britons – now earn below this living wage. So far from falling since the height of the recession in 2009, this number paid below the legal minimum has actually grown by over 40%.

One Comment

  1. Rob the cripple says:

    Ok let see did the rich get richer under Labour in the UK yes did the poor get poorer yes they did the min wage was a mistake it’s now seen by many of the largest employers as the bench mark for jobs.

    Most of the retailers now wait until the government make the decision on wage rises , my daughter worked in Tesco, she was paid £8 an hour because she had a level in maths and she was getting ready to move on in life she was eighteen, the min wage came in and Tesco stated this was going to be the bench mark she was asked to sign a new contract on working condition one of which was they would be paid £3.20 the excuse was people did not need anymore to use maths when adding up the cost as the new system did it for them.

    The min wage did not take people out of poverty, it put Millions into it, but that was the plan I expect. After all did not Brown then remove the 10p tax band from the poorest to help those poor old squeezed middle class.

    God Labour has to go a long long way to get people to think Labour’s the party for them.

    At least conference has not changed still the same shambles of getting people up, you yes you in pink, no no not you, the one next, yes the one with the big nose.

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