The five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population and the gap between the rich and the rest has grown significantly over the last two decades, according to new figures published today by Oxfam.
The agency warned that just five UK households have more money than the poorest 12.6 million Britons – almost the same number of people as those living in households below the UK poverty line.
Oxfam’s figures also show that over the past two decades the wealthiest 0.1 percent have seen their income grow nearly four times faster than the least well off 90 percent of the population. In real terms, that means a wealthy elite have seen their income grow by £24,000 a year, enough to buy a small yacht or a sports car, whilst the bottom 90 percent of Britons’ incomes have gone up by only a few pounds a week. The average UK salary is £26,500-a-year.
Ben Phillips, Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns and Policy, said: “Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, whilst millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.
“It’s deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline.”
Here you can read full Oxfam’s Press Release
Ben Phillips said: “Increasing inequality is a sign of economic failure rather than success. It’s far from inevitable – a result of political choices that can be reversed.”
And we also argue that if we want to seriously tackle inequality, we need to look closely at the functioning of our monetary system. Many factors contribute to the growing gap between rich and poor, but one of the most significant is often overlooked and least understood: the role of money creation by banks.
Our money system guarantees that inequality will get worse – You can find the evidence in our report Banking, Finance and Income Inequality.
Here’s a 3 minute video, which explains a couple of the key points from the paper.
Watch the video ‘Inequality: Why are the rich getting richer?’