Tagged: population

Britain’s richest 1% own as much as poorest 55% of population

Britain’s richest 1% have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together, according to the latest official analysis of who owns the nation’s £9.5tn of property, pensions and financial assets.

In figures that also lay bare the extent of inequality across the north-south divide, the Office for National Statistics said household wealth in the south-east had been rising five times as fast as across the whole country.

The average wealth of households in the southeast had surged to £309,000 at the end of 2012, up 30% since the first wealth report published by the ONS covering 2006-8 – while the average rise in England was only 6%.

But wealth in the north-east had fallen, the only region where it did so, to an average of just under £143,000. In Scotland the figure was £165,500.

Northern regions lost out after a dramatic rise in stock market values that was grabbed mostly by households in the south east, the ONS figures show.

The situation is likely to have worsened following an 18% surge in house prices over the past year in the south-east and even higher at the top end of the market.

A rush to save among richer households as the recession deepened boosted the nation’s total wealth and ensured Britain’s long-established financial inequality remained in place, with the top 10% laying claim to 44% of household wealth – while the poorest half of the country had only 9%.

Rachael Orr, Oxfam‘s head of poverty in the UK said the figures were a “shocking chapter in a tale of two Britains“.

The charity recently reported that five billionaire families controlled the same wealth as 20% of the population. “It is further evidence of increasing inequality at a time when five rich families have the same wealth as 12 million people,” she said.

We need our politicians to grasp the nettle and make the narrowing gap between the richest and poorest a top priority. It cannot be right that in Britain today a small elite are getting richer and richer while millions are struggling to make ends meet.”

Duncan Exley, director of the Equality Trust, said: “The grotesque concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority is fracturing our society, weakening our economy and giving disproportionate power to the richest. Unless policymakers adopt a clear goal of reducing the gap between the richest and the rest, they will have to govern an increasingly dysfunctional nation.

The report comes after French economist Thomas Piketty has ignited international debate about inequality by documenting the rapid accumulation of assets by the top 1% over the four decades since the 1970s.

Britain’s top 1% saw their share of wealth increase slightly in the four years before 2012, grabbing the same share as 54.9% of the population, up from 54.2% in 2008/10.

But the Treasury said the report showed that wealth inequality had remained the same throughout the six years up to 2012 while income inequality had declined to levels last seen in 1986. A spokesperson said the government’s efforts to protect the poorest during the recession had worked.

The effects of the Great Recession are still being felt which is why we have taken continued action to help hardworking people by cutting income tax and freezing fuel duty.

“And we want to help more people to save for their future or own their own home which is why we are giving people more flexibility over their pensions and introducing Help to Buy. At the same time we have introduced new higher rates of stamp duty on the most expensive homes and done more than any previous government to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance in order to ensure that everyone pays their fair share in tax.”

> If the government executed every poor person in the UK, a government spokesman would then be wheeled out to claim that by killing everyone they had in fact improved the victims lot, since they would no longer have to buy food, heating, housing, etc, thereby making everyone better off.

And dead, of course, but you can’t have everything…

Critics of the wealth report said it failed to capture the huge diversion of wealth to offshore tax havens, which account for trillions of pounds worth of savings.

A series of investigations into offshore tax havens have documented the success of their banks in attracting a steady rise in the savings and financial assets of the richest 1%.

There was also a clear disparity between women and men over who owns the most homes, pensions, cars and stocks and shares. The average value of men’s total pension wealth was nearly twice as high as women’s in 2010/12 – £63,000 compared with £34,800.

The power of the grey pound is highlighted in the report by several measures, including one showing that couples without children, where one person is over and the other under the state pension age, have the highest total wealth at £607,800, up from £452,000 in 2006.

Source – The Guardian,  15 May 2014

Coalition drags out the pain with promise of many more cuts

Vox Political

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The BBC has reported findings by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, showing that the Coalition government will be less than halfway through its planned spending cuts by the end of the current financial year (March 31).

The organisation said 60 per cent of the cuts were still to come.

This raises a few urgent questions. Firstly: This government was formed on the promise that it would balance the books by 2015, which presupposes that its entire plan for doing so would be in place long before then. We know that this ambitious claim was dismissed after years of failure, but part of the reason for this failure was that George Osborne stopped a recovery that was already taking place, and which would have led to economic growth of 20 per cent by now, if it had been allowed to continue (according to Michael Meacher MP). My question, therefore…

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Northern Patriotic Front – More Sad Right-Wing Bastards

We get all sorts of rubbish coming through the letter-box nowadays (obviously a growth area, considering the Job Centre vaccancies are dominated by positions for “self-employed” leaflet distributors !). But what we got to day was not just rubbish, it was nasty rubbish…

“Introducing The Northern Patriotic Front”  trumpeted the flyer, going on to inform us  that the NPF is “a campaigning organization based in the North of England and in Scotland. We firmly believe that the actions of politicians representing the so-called main-stream political parties are destroying our British way of life with the ultimate intent of collaborating in the destruction of our British race.”

You get the idea. It probably wont suprise you to hear that this sad bunch, operating out of a Sunderland PO Box, have been described as having “been set up by a number of disillusionedNational Front members” – disillusioned presumably because the NF aren’t right wing enough.

Its all the usual old rubbish –

“Britain continues to be swamped by immigrants”,

“The white British population  will rapidly become a minority and be displaced.”

“White children are being taught to hate their own culture”

You know, as a white British male myself, I haven’t got a clue what this white British culture I’m apparently in danger of losing actually is, and the NPF dont define it, so I guess they dont really know either.

Since the NPF are operating out of a Sunderland adress, it may be instructive to look at some of the statistics for the city from the 2011 census…

The first thing worth noting is that over the period 2001 to 2011 overall, the North East population increased by only 2.2%: the slowest rate in the UK. Not exactly a region being swamped by anyone, let alone immigrants.

Moreover, Sunderland’s population actually declined by 3.2%  (neighbouring South Tyneside also fell, by 3.1%).  So wherever this alledged swamping is happening, its not in the NPF’s backyard.

But the biggest debunker of this nonsense is the figures of the city’s population broken down by ethnic groups –

White   95.9%
Mixed  0.6%
Asian / British Asian  2.7%
Black / Black British  0.5%
Other  0.3%

Evidently those dastardly immigrants are going to have to put in a lot of work before they get to swamp Sunderland !

Of course anyone with half a brain  can see through the NPF and their fellow travellers and their agenda of  stirring up hate and divide and rule. Still, if you dont have the necessry brain cells and do want to join their  crusade, the annual subscription  is a tenner. But be warned – not just anyone can join their gang – you have to state that :

*I am 14 years or older
*I am of white parentage
* I am not an illegal drug user
*My spouse/partner is of white parentage
*I am not homosexual
*I am not a member of any other political party

Not just racist but homophobic too. They like to cover all the bases, don’t they ?

You can tell them what you think of them at:  NPF, PO Box 1352, Sunderland, SR5 9NE

Or you might want to phone them:  0773 3511 761

And you know the biggest irony ? Their leaflet came through the door along with the usual flyers for pizza places, Indian takeaways, etc . Yes, they were swamped by flyers for “foreign” food, the most obvious and easily embraceable example of multicultural Britain.

Stuff your undefined  “British culture”…I’m off for a Chinese.