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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 February 2009

JCB owner - still shovelling in the cash

The annual rich list for the West Midlands was recently published in The Birmingham Post. It reveals that Sir Anthony Bamford has been knocked off the top spot this year. It seems that a 600 million increase in his family fortune to 1.8 billion since last year is not enough to remain at the top.

Sir Anthony owns JCB and his wealth has been calculated on the basis of record profits of 187 million in 2008. But by the end of March this year, over 1,500 JCB workers will have been made redundant as a result of falling demand.

Unlike Sir Anthony we have been forced to take a 50 a week pay cut as a result of short-time working, as well as seeing pay negotiations for 2009 scrapped. Many workers at JCB are now struggling to pay their bills with many fearing losing their homes.

This is not a problem for Sir Anthony who is spoilt for choice. Amongst his several retreats he owns a 24 million house in Chelsea and a holiday home in Barbados - a place where the likes of Tony Blair have stayed. If he is not happy in either of these places he can always retreat to the 1,500-acre estate near Stow-on-the-Wold where Lady Bamford runs an organic farm. The Bamfords also own the 3,000-acre Wootton estate in Staffordshire.

Sir Anthony is a long standing Conservative Party supporter and donor, but also counts Tony Blair and the Prince of Wales among his friends.

A JCB worker

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