A new official report from Credit Suisse paints a grim picture of the growing divide in the UK between the rich and the poor. Britain now tops a shameful league of G7 economies on income inequality. Despite years of austerity – with more to come say the Tories – the super-rich in the UK have done very well for themselves.
A new official report from Credit Suisse paints a grim picture of the growing divide in the UK between the rich and the poor.
Britain now tops a shameful league of G7 economies on income inequality. Despite years of austerity – with more to come say the Tories – the super-rich in the UK have done very well for themselves.
The total wealth in the UK has increased by 19.1% in just a year and now stands at £8.29 ($14.2) trillion. Worldwide this figure has gone up by over 20% in the same period to $263 trillion, about £163 trillion. The world’s richest 1% now owns 48% of all wealth whereas the bottom 50% has just 1% of wealth to share out between them.
In Britain, according to Credit Suisse, the richest 10% have increased their share of UK wealth to 54%, an increase of over 2.5% since the start of the new century. The number of UK dollar billionaires has gone up from 8 to 44 over the same period.
So despite all the fallout from the biggest economic collapse in modern times, the super-rich have not only come out of it in good shape but have actually prospered. Where has all this new cash come from? It has come from us, from the workers who produce the wealth. We have not prospered – quite the reverse.
Over the last five years average income has fallen with most workers seeing little or no pay rises and some suffering pay cuts.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Trust, the number of households now earning less than what is considered to be an acceptable minimum standard of living has risen by 20% taking the period between 2008/9 and 2011/12. There is no reason to assume that this figure is not still rising. According to the Observer newspaper (9/3/14), for every new super-rich person at the top there are over 700,000 people at the bottom who are becoming poorer.
The End Child Poverty campaign has now reported that, in the most socially deprived parts of the country, one in every two kids is living in poverty. Javed Khan from Barnardos is quoted in the Guardian newspaper (15/10/14) as saying “Low wages, rising living costs and welfare reforms have pushed many… to the brink of financial crisis, forcing them to make desperate choices…”
This is the reality of capitalism today, in the UK and worldwide. It’s more for the rich, less for the poor. This is why we must fight for socialism to end this rotten system of growing exploitation and poverty.