Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Them and Us

The richest 1,000 people in Britain now own an incredible £658 billion. That’s more than the combined wealth of the poorest 40% of the population, roughly 10.3 million families. 

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, while the wealthiest 10% have seen a large increase in their average wealth, from £752,900 to £895,400, the poorest 10% have actually seen their average level of wealth fall. In addition, real wages are also predicted to take a hit as inflation creeps up.

 The wealthiest are streaking away on private jets, the poorest are falling further behind, into the gaping abyss of poverty and debt. The Trussell Trust recently announced another year of increased food bank usage, with a reported 1,182,954 user visits in 2016, a 9% increase on the previous year. At the same time, millions of people are struggling to afford a decent roof over their heads and two thirds of children in poverty are in working households. All this in the fifth largest economy in the world.

The increase in wealth of the richest 1,000 people last year alone could pay the grocery bills of every food bank user for over 56 years. It could provide over 5,143,819 jobs for a year paid at the Living Wage. It could even pay two and a half year’s rent for 4.5 million households.

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