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And the rich just get richer!
Membership of this club doesn't come cheap. In fact, it'll cost you a minimum of £100 million to be featured in the Sunday Times Rich List.
The latest tally of the UK's richest 1,000 individuals and families reveals a combined wealth of £547 billion. That figure covers assets, property and shares but excludes what they have salted away in onshore and offshore bank accounts.
And while us mere mortals have seen our pay and savings shrink to next to nothing since the 2008 capitalist recession, these masters of the universe have seen their collective wealth double. And yet the pro-austerity politicians still insist there is no money around to maintain services.
The ever-widening wealth gap between the 0.1% super-rich and the overwhelming majority blows a massive hole in the Tories' much vaunted 'trickle down' theory of economic prosperity. Indeed, the situation in Britain is better explained by a 'hoovering-up' theory of inequality!
The current rich list includes 117 billionaires - up from 104 last year. Of these, 80 reside in London - giving the capital the unenviable record of hosting more pound billionaires than any other city in the world, and helping to push property prices into the stratosphere.
Top of the pile with £13.7 billion, is Ukrainian capitalist tycoon Len Blavatnik. His empire, which includes Warner Music Group, swelled by £3 billion last year. That must be of cheer to his fellow countrymen and women shivering in a bombed out basement in Donetsk.
The owners of Selfridges and Primark - Galen and George Weston and family - have also enjoyed a profitable year, seeing their wealth leap upwards by £3.7 billion to £11 billion. No doubt, their outsourced south Asian clothing workers are looking forward to a bumper wage rise!
Of course, capitalism is an economic system not just a conspiracy of rich people. As such it requires a socialist transformation by the working class to end inequality. That said, a wealth tax levied on the 1% would be music to our ears, Mr Blavatnik.
Britain's richest people increased their wealth by over £28 billion last year.
The Equality Trust reckons that £28 billion could:
- Provide 1,889,963 Living Wage jobs for a year, or 1,035,154 jobs paid at an average salary or,
- Pay nine months' worth of energy bills for every UK household or
- Pay the grocery bill for all of the UK's users of food banks for at least 20 years or
- Pay a year's rent for over 2.5 million households
In The Socialist 30 April 2015:
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