THE ANNUAL Sunday Times rich list was published on 25 April. It shows that at a time when we are all being told to prepare for ‘tough times ahead’ and massive cuts in services, public spending and welfare benefits the richest people in Britain have seen a record boom in their wealth over the past year. Their fortunes have soared by 30%.
Craig Johnston, RMT national executive member – and Trade Unionist and Socialist Candidate (TUSC) in Yewdale Ward, Carlisle
According to the Sunday Times: “It is the largest rise in wealth since the list was first published 21 years ago. Much of the increase is a result of the rebound in stock markets and property values after the Labour government injected hundreds of billions of pounds into the banks and the wider economy to stave off collapse.”
The report’s figures are astonishing. They reveal that the 1,000 richest people in this country increased their wealth by £77 billion last year, bringing their total wealth to £335.5 billion.
Just 1,000 people have amassed wealth equal to more than one-third of the national debt!
When the rest of us are told to ‘tighten our belts’ the number of billionaires has risen from 43 to 53, with nine seeing their wealth rise by £1 billion or more during the past 12 months.
Philip Beresford, compiler of the list, said: “The rich have come through the recession with flying colours. The stock market is up, the hedge funds are coining it. The rich are doing very nicely. The rest of the country is going to have to face public spending cuts, but it has little effect on the rich because they don’t consume public services”.