Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/899/22689
Them & Us
The Sunday Times published its annual Rich List on 24 April.
Total net worth of Britain's wealthiest 1,000 residents - the top 0.002%.
Total net wealth of Britain's poorest 12.6 million residents - the bottom 20%. (2010 to 2012, Office for National Statistics)
Minimum you need to be admitted to the 2016 Rich List.
Gross lifetime earnings of a worker on the average UK salary of £26,500 over a 50-year career. It would take 77 lifetimes for a worker on average pay to earn the equivalent needed for Rich List entry. Of course, you'd have lost most of it in rent and necessities to people already on the Rich List anyway.
Property billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, top of the 2016 Rich List. They also have investments in tech, metal and banking. The pair owns Millbank Tower, Oxford Airport, shops on London's ultra-posh Sloane Street, and more. Net worth: £13.1 billion.
Homelessness charity Shelter's estimate of the numbers caught in the UK's 'rent trap' in 2014. These renters - 66% - permanently subsidise private landlords, never able to afford a deposit on their own homes.
Ernesto Bertarello's net worth, with wife Kirsty. Ernesto mainly races yachts these days. But he earned his money the hard way: by cleverly and industriously inheriting a pharmaceutical firm. When that sold, he took home a well-deserved $8.6 billion.
Total net cost of ingredients in NHS prescriptions in 2014 (Health and Social Care Information Centre). Private drugs companies, like Ernesto's former plaything Serono, demand obscene mark-ups. 'Dasatinib', for example, is a leukaemia treatment. Its manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, sells it to the NHS at 100 times what it costs to make.
Spare a thought
Steel magnate Lakshi Mittal has suffered, now only worth £7.12 billion after his stake in steel crashed due to overcapacity in China. Oil barons and retail bosses have also lost out. The Socialist will be dropping round the UK's 1.68 million unemployed workers to see if they can spare a quid.
In The Socialist 27 April 2016:
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May Day greetings 2016: click here