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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 April 2015

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:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 30 April 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS in crisis

After the election: prepare for the battles to come

Establishment witch-hunt in Tower Hamlets

Rent controls? Another Labour fudge

And the rich just get richer!

Them & Us

The Socialist election schedule


International socialist news and analysis

125 years of May Day: Learn lessons of past struggles

Ireland: crucial stage for water charges

Greece: gold mining meeting


Special feature

Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

Why you should join the socialists


Elections 2015

Why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition?

Why I'm standing

Key working class fighters rally to TUSC

Anti-cuts councillor set to defend seat

Pop star and activist Jawad Ahmad backs TUSC

Why many class fighters won't vote Labour


Socialist Party workplace news

Labour Party link dominates conference discussion

Dundee porters force NHS bosses to retreat

Glasgow homelessness caseworkers' strike

MoD IT workers demand decent pay

Bromley workers escalate strikes

Bradford bus drivers strike against job losses

Wales: Hundreds protest cuts to adult education

Barking bin workers walkout over pay cuts


May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings in the Socialist 2015 - pdf


 

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