The richest 1,000 in UK double their wealth since crash while average incomes drop 6%

Rich ListIn the last year, according to the Sunday Times Rich List tracking of Britain’s ultra-rich, the richest 1,000 persons in Britain increased their personal wealth last year by no less than £70bn. That means each has gained on average £70 millions in this last year. Over the 5 years now since the crash, it is almost unbelievable that these 1,000 people have increased their personal wealth by a staggering £260bn. Their total wealth doubled from £258bn in 2009 to £519bn now. Continue reading

Redistributing property empires of Britain’s ultra-rich families would be as popular as energy price freeze

Oxfam has just reported that Britain’s richest 5 families are wealthier than 12.6 Britons who make up a fifth of the entire UK population. The latest survey from Forbes magazine shows that these 5 fortunes are heavily based on property rather than entrepreneurial innovation. The families listed are those of the Duke of Westminster (who owns 190 acres of prime real estate in Belgravia, London), the property magnates David and Simon Reuben, the Hinduja brothers, the Cadogan family whose wealth has always traditionally come from property, and (the one exception) the Sports Direct investor Mike Ashley. Their combined wealth works out at £28.2bn, an average per family of £5.6bn each. The collective wealth of the poorest 12 million Britons however comes to only £2,230 each. Thus the wealth of the richest 5 families is 2.5 million times greater than that of the bottom fifth. This is grotesque: so what should be done about it? Continue reading

Labour politicians on the Rich List

Most of the rich politicians in Britain, says the Times, are Tories as you would expect. Lord Ashcroft (worth £1,200m) leads the field, pharmaceutical magnate Lord Balleymond next (worth £860m), followed by the Marquess of Salisbury (275m) at no 4, and Lord Heseltine (£264m) no 5. However, rather surprisingly (or perhaps not after 13 years of New Labour in government), seven of the top twenty are Labour. Continue reading

Unequal wealth – the best illustration ever

This film will take just six minutes of your life. It is a fantastic illustration of just how unfair is the distribution of wealth. Not only is there a massive gap between the way people think things are and the way they think they should be (left and right alike), but there is an even bigger gap between the way they think things are and the way they really are. Watch the film. It is very clear. It is about the United States, but things are not so very different in the UK.

(hat-tip -Ann Pettifor)