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Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 953, 21 June 2017: Capitalism kills

Search site for keywords: Trade unions - Unions - Wealth - Pay - Wealth gap - Britain - Super-rich - Wages - Poverty - Austerity - Cuts - Debt

The have-yachts and the have-nots

Trade unions must lead fightback

Monopoly man with axe dancing on money bags, 1% super-rich austerity inequality, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)

Monopoly man with axe dancing on money bags, 1% super-rich austerity inequality, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party

Anti-poverty think tank the Resolution Foundation has added to an accumulating body of evidence on the ever-widening wealth gap in Britain.

According to its recent report, just 1% of the population own 14% of the country's wealth (and that's just the declared income and assets of the super-rich) or a mind-blowing 1.6 trillion! Yet the poorest 15% of adults own nothing or have negative wealth because of deepening debt.

Low incomes, combined with pay caps and pay freezes, zero-hours employment, benefit cuts and soaring rents, have all played a part in impoverishing an increasing proportion of adults in Britain.

In addition, the collapse in home ownership among the poorest half of the population since the onset of the financial crash in 2008 has dramatically widened the wealth gap.

Overall, the average wealth of an adult has fallen from 99,000 in 2006-08 to 84,000 in 2012-14 according the Resolution Foundation's report.

As the Socialist previously reported, the richest 1,000 individuals in the UK again saw their total wealth rise - by 14% last year to 658 billion. In contrast, the Trade Union Congress found that between 2007 and 2015, real wages fell by 10.4%, the biggest decline in the developed countries - matched only by Greece.

Little wonder then that the Tories, with their repeated austerity message, lost a parliamentary majority in the general election.






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