27 thoughts on “British millionaires richer, millions poorer

  1. Monday 8th May 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    FAWNING wealth-worshippers in the right-wing press hailed a “bonanza” for Britain’s billionaires yesterday, as the Sunday Times published its annual Rich List.

    The Conservative government can pat itself on the back for the revelation that our country now has a record 134 billionaires, or that the 1,000 richest people in the realm have added 14 per cent to their swollen fortunes, which now clock in at a combined £658 billion (the top 20 are on their own possessed of £191.77bn).

    Truly Theresa May has been delivering for the class her party represents. Or maybe it’s all down to the hard work of the billionaires in question?

    “While many of us worried about the outcome of the EU referendum, many of Britain’s richest people just kept calm and carried on making billions,” the list’s compiler Robert Watts observes.

    Yes, it’s funny how much less worried about the future you can afford to be when perched atop an obscene pile of cash.

    Sadly things haven’t been going so swimmingly for the rest of us.

    Britain is the only major economy in which real wages fell between 2007 and 2015.

    French and German workers added 7 per cent to their pay packets in this period; this side of the Channel our pay lost 10 per cent of its value.

    Working people had more cheery news from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) on Friday, when it predicted a “spectacularly poor” period for incomes over the next five years.

    The average family income in 2021-22 will be 18 per cent lower than it would have been had it grown at the same rate as before the crash, the IFS calculates — a £5,000 penalty on ordinary households for living in Conservative Britain. If it’s tough for most of us, it’s tougher for the poorest of all.

    The same report predicted growing child poverty but added reassuringly that overall poverty rates will remain unchanged because cuts are falling most heavily on those already below the poverty line.

    That’s families queuing for handouts at foodbanks, children coming to school so hungry they cannot concentrate, homelessness rising every single year since the Conservatives walked into Number 10 and more than twice as common as it was when Labour were last in power.

    All while the richest “kept calm and carried on making billions.”

    The contrast between the immense wealth of those at the top of our society and the utter destitution of those at the bottom is a scandal that reeks to the heavens.

    It is also the predictable and deliberate result of years of Conservative (and until 2015, Liberal Democrat) spending cuts and privatisations, while corporation tax has been slashed and income tax reduced for the highest earners.

    What a relief it is then to have a Labour Party which states quite openly that it will raise taxes on the one in 20 earners who takes home over £80,000 a year in order to improve services for those who need them most.

    One that — as today’s announcement of a new Index of Child Health demonstrates — will look out for the wellbeing of all our children, not just the bloated bank accounts of the 1 per cent.

    Yesterday’s sycophantic press coverage of the Rich List and horrified scaremongering over a modest tax increase on the top 5 per cent of incomes shows that these issues are likely to be distorted in media coverage of the election.

    What is at stake next month depends on our getting the message out.

    This election is about building a Britain for the many, not the few. That means voting Labour.



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