While the rich get richer the poor get poorer

The cost-of-living crisis spirals deeper. Working-class people see bills and tills go up. But for the big business bosses, pound signs are rolling over their eyes and even more money rolling into their bank accounts.

Dishing out dividends

Dividend payments made to shareholders of UK-based corporations grew by 132% between 2000 and 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. If wages had kept up with dividends, workers would be paid £2,100 a year more. For most of us, an extra £2,100 in our pockets would go some way to properly heating our homes, or to afford to eat well.

Tesla bosses’ Twitter toy

Meanwhile, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has agreed to spend £35 billion on his new toy, Twitter. For comparison, Sri Lanka’s debt mountain is roughly £28 billion. There, the government just defaulted on its debt, workers and poor are left unable to meet even their basic needs, and workers’ protests have erupted.

Cancer patients can’t afford heating

One in four cancer patients report that they “can’t afford life” at the moment, according to charity Macmillan. At further cost to their health, patients are cutting costs on food and sleeping in cold bedrooms. Meanwhile, statutory sick pay remains at a pitiful £99.35 a week and lasts just 28 weeks.

The health gap grows wider

Health inequality is growing. Men living in the poorest areas die 9.7 years earlier than men in the wealthiest, for women the gap is 7.9 years, according to the Office for National Statistics. The gap is growing.

There is an even greater disparity between rich and poor ‘healthy life expectancy’. If you are a woman from a rich area you get 19.3 more years of healthy life than a poor woman; for men the gap is 18.6 years.

A lifetime of hard work, stress, pollution, unsafe housing conditions, limited access to health services and being unable to afford nutritious food – all contribute to a shorter life expectancy. All made worse by the policies of Tory and Labour bosses’ politicians, and all a consequence of a system where the rich get richer at our expense.