Monday, March 14, 2016

More UK Inequality

More than a quarter of the wealth created in Britain over the past 15 years has ended up in the pockets of the richest 1% of people.

It said that the total net wealth of people in the UK had increased from £6tn in 2000 to £10tn in 2015, based on figures from Swiss bank Credit Suisse. But while just 7p in every pound of wealth created went to the 30 million people who make up the nation’s poorest 50%, around 26p went to the richest 1%.

The 1%, comprises 600,000 people who increased their collective wealth by 79% to £2.4tn, or an average of £3.7m each, over the 15-year period. During the same timeframe, the average wealth of someone in the bottom 10%, including debt, rose to £1,600 compared to £1,100, a far more modest 45% rise.

“It’s simply not right that a tiny group of individuals hoovers up so much of the UK’s growing prosperity while barely any trickles down to those who have least,” said Mark Goldring, Oxfam chief executive. 

Oxfam said wealthy people funnelling cash to “secrecy jurisdictions” such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda were contributing to the wealth divide. It said the Treasury was losing around £5bn a year from British “tax-dodgers” holding more than £170bn in tax havens. It also highlighted the impact on the global wealth gap, saying governments are thought to be losing £120bn, with the world’s poorest regions missing out on £43bn.

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