British rich richer, poor poorer

This video is called Poverty hits British families.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Boom for rich as we go bust

Sunday 29 April 2012

Britain’s richest 1,000 people calmly raked in record profits last year, booming to a combined wealth of £414 billion while the rest of the country endures the wage freezes and redundancies of recession.

And the cost of an entry ticket to the exclusive club rose again – if you don’t have £72 million you aren’t getting in.

The 2012 rich list released on Sunday, which campaigners said “lays bare stark levels of inequality” in the country, shows a rising number of billionaires, up to 77 from the previous high of 75 in 2008.

The asset total represents a 4.7 per cent rise on last year and surpasses the previous high of £412.85bn, reached just months before the 2008 financial crash.

Meanwhile Britain is experiencing record levels of unemployment and a double-dip recession that Labour leader Ed Miliband said has been caused by the government’s “catastrophic” economic policies.

A spokeswoman for campaign group UK Uncut commented: “This year’s rich list lays bare the stark levels of inequality in Britain.

“While the rich are wealthier than ever there are record levels of unemployment and a double-dip recession caused by government austerity measures.

“The government need to find alternatives to its cuts-obsessed agenda. There should more transparency in the levels of tax paid by these billionaires and tougher measures to clamp down on tax avoidance.”

She added that the rich have a duty to put more of their new-found wealth to good causes.

Conservative Party donor Lakshmi Mittal tops the list with a personal wealth of £12.7bn. The steel magnate, whose non-dom status means he doesn’t pay tax on his main overseas holdings, has been Britain’s richest man since 2005.

Just behind is Uzbek metals magnate and Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov on £12.3bn. His own tax affairs are unknown as the government refuses to comment on the issue.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich (also a non-dom) came third with £9.5bn.

The richest woman in Britain is former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli who shares a £7.4bn fortune with her husband Ernesto.

Other billionaires include Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, inventor of the bagless vacuum Sir James Dyson and JCB owner Sir Anthony Bamford, who have all enjoyed sharp rises in their fortunes.

This year’s annual Sunday Times Rich List reveals that the wealth of the super-rich in Britain has grown by 4.7 percent, to reach a new high of more than £414 billion: here.

On average, high earners have a very different idea of what makes a just society: here.

Elderly people living in the poorest places get ill up to 15 years earlier than those in wealthy areas, a study shows: here.

Britain faces worst recession since 1930s: here.

The latest Sunday Times Rich List recorded a massive increase in wealth for the super-rich in the United Kingdom: here.

Bumper bonus payments have helped Britain’s top bosses take home an extra 14 per cent over the past year, pay analysts IDS revealed yesterday: here.

Eight companies where executives are paid 1000 times more than employees: here.

The profits of the biggest US banks continued to swell in the second quarter of this year, even as the impact of five years of mass unemployment, stagnant economic growth and brutal cuts in social spending produced a further rise in poverty, homelessness and hunger: here.

Richest 300 Persons on Earth Have More Money Than Poorest 3 Billion: here.

“There Are Marxists in India?”: Economist Prabhat Patnaik on the Global Crisis: here.

The wealth of the top 50 Australians increased by 49 percent over the past three years: here.

Households with more than a million (US) dollars in private wealth are projected to own 46 percent of global private wealth in 2019 according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG): here.

51 thoughts on “British rich richer, poor poorer

  1. Aviva boss waives £1 million wage

    BONUSES: The boss of insurer Aviva bowed to shareholder pressure on Monday and waived a pay rise which would have taken his annual salary over the £1 million mark.

    Chief executive Andrew Moss has rejected the 4.6 per cent rise awarded in March on his £960,000 annual salary.

    Investor group Pensions Investment Research Consultants had called on shareholders to vote against Aviva’s executive pay report at its annual meeting on Thursday.

    Shareholders stung banking giant Barclays on Friday with a third failing to support the bumper pay packages.


  2. Data: More phones than toilets in India

    Monday – 4/30/2012, 2:50pm ET

    FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, Indian squatters use a public toilet after waking up at Park No. 2 near Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India. For thousands of people struggling at the bottom of India’s working class, the Meena Bazaar parking lot and the handful of places like it scattered across New Delhi are cheap refuges in a city where many migrants can’t even afford to rent slum shanties. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)

    WASHINGTON – Monday marks the beginning of Screen-Free Week, brought on by a need for people to put their phones down instead of using them at all times, such as in the bathroom.

    That’s not a problem in India, and not because there’s a shortage of phones.

    New data from the Indian census indicates there are more cell phones than toilets in the south Asian country of 1.2 billion people, according to a report from This is striking news for a country where almost half of all people still have to relieve themselves in the open due to no access to clean drinking water or toilets in their homes.

    However, 53 percent have a phone, and 47 percent have a television.

    “Open defecation continues to be a big concern for the country as almost half of the population do it,” Registrar General and Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli tells BBC News. “Cultural and traditional reasons and a lack of education are the prime reasons for this unhygienic practice. We have to do a lot in these fronts.”

    Despite what CIA cites as “significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption,” India plays a significant role on the world’s stage, including earning a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-2012 term, and rapid economic development.

    The country’s stark spectrum of richness and poverty was brought to light last October when New Delhi billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya sought to bring Formula One, “the champagne sport,” to the area of his home country with so much deprivation.

    “In every country there are the privileged and underprivileged,” Mallya said. “We have underprivileged people in our country, but that doesn’t mean that the country must be bogged down or weighed down.

    “The government is doing all it can to address the needs of the poor or the underprivileged people, but India must move on.”

    Follow WTOP on Twitter.

    (Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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  5. Tax dives while profits soar

    The biggest firms in Britain are paying a fifth less tax than they did 12 years ago, a Reuters report says.

    The companies paid £5 billion less in corporation tax in the last financial year than in 2000/01. Their profits leapt by 65 percent over the same period.

    Bankers grab £1 million each

    Some 1,500 bankers in Britain “earned” £1 million each in 2011, new figures show. They grabbed the most at Barclays, where managers trousered an average of £1.2 million.


  6. No end to the parties for champagne rich

    While some of us may struggle to pay our bills, a receipt shows the night out had by rich “talent agent” Dexter Koh at a posh Mayfair club. Among other things he bought a Methuselah of Cristal champagne—as big as eight normal bottles—for £26,000.

    That’s not the only thing he’s been doing with his cash. The PR man says that like Fifty Shades of Grey character Christian Grey, he likes to enter into “mutually beneficial arrangements” with young women.

    While the rich party, new research has found that people are buying 20 percent less fruit and veg as they feel the squeeze on their wages. Shop prices have soared this year, it shows, while pay has stayed flat.


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  15. The Shocking Amount of Wealth and Power Held by 0.001% of the World Population

    The level of inequality around the world is truly staggering.

    June 12, 2013, AlteRNet

    Many now know the rhetoric of the 1% very well: the imagery of a small elite owning most of the wealth while the 99% take the table scraps.

    In 2006, a UN report revealed that the world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the “super rich.” More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet’s total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth.

    Looking specifically at the United States, the top 1% own more than 36% of the national wealth and more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%. Almost all of the wealth gains over the previous decade went to the top 1%. In the mid-1970s, the top 1% earned 8% of all national income; this number rose to 21% by 2010. At the highest sliver at the top, the 400 wealthiest individuals in America have more wealth than the bottom 150 million.

    A 2005 report from Citigroup coined the term “plutonomy” to describe countries “where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few.” The report specifically identified the U.K., Canada, Australia and the United States as four plutonomies. Published three years before the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, the Citigroup report stated: “Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper and become a greater share of the economy in the plutonomy countries.”

    “The rich,” said the report, “are in great shape, financially.”

    In early 2013, Oxfam reported that the fortunes made by the world’s 100 richest people over the course of 2012 – roughly $240 billion – would be enough to lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty four times over. In the Oxfam report, “The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All,” the international charity noted that in the past 20 years, the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60%. Barbara Stocking, an Oxfam executive, noted that this type of extreme wealth is “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive…We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.”

    The report added: “In the UK, inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid.” In the United States, the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled from 10 to 20% since 1980, and for the top 0.01% in the United States, “the share of national income is above levels last seen in the 1920s.”

    Previously, in July of 2012, James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey, a major global consultancy, published a major report on tax havens for the Tax Justice Network which compiled data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the IMF and other private sector entities to reveal that the world’s super-rich have hidden between $21 and $32 trillion offshore to avoid taxation.

    Henry stated: “This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of ‘source’ countries.” John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network further commented that “Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people… This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich.”


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