The richest 1,000 people have more wealth (£547 billion) than the poorest 40% of households (£452 billion). Last year they saw their wealth increase by a staggering £28.151 billion, the equivalent of £77 million a day, or £893 a second, according to the annual Wealth Tracker report by The Equality Trust.
The Equality Trust has found that this increase in wealth of £28.151 billion could:
- Provide 1,889,963 Living Wage jobs for a year, or 1,035,154 jobs paid at an average salary. OR
- Pay 9 months’ worth of energy bills for all 26.7 million UK households. 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 (2,555,465).
“Inequality at this scale is hugely damaging for society. Multiple studies show that living in a more unequal country means you’re more likely to have poorer education, suffer from poor mental health, trust people less, be the victim of violent crime and even die earlier. In fact the corrosive effect of inequality on our health, well-being and even on our economy is now being shown by organisations like the IMF and the OECD.”
Duncan Exley, Director of the Equality Trust
You can read more here.
The extreme levels of inequality we see today are not normal and they can be reversed – we agree on that!
Many factors contribute to the growing inequality, but one of the most significant is often overlooked and least understood: the role of money creation by banks. If we want to seriously tackle inequality, we need to look closely at the functioning of our monetary system.
The fact that the nation’s money supply must be borrowed from banks means that we are having to pay interest on the entire money supply. This has the effect of transferring income from the bottom 90% of the population to the top 10%.
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: ‘Inequality: Why are the rich getting richer?’
Removing the ability of banks to create money would have a dampening effect on house price rises, which in turn will reduce the rate of growth in wealth inequality. The creation, by the central bank, of money that has no corresponding interest-bearing debt, means that there will be a stock of money that will be effectively ‘debt-free’, and there will be no need for members of the public to borrow simply to ensure that there is money available in the economy. The resulting lower levels of private debt will mean that less interest is paid overall, and therefore less income is transferred to the top 10% of the population. Again, this will slow the rate of growth in inequality.
Find out more here.