Five families worth more than poorest 20 per cent

The five richest families in the UK are now wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population, according to a briefing drawn up by Oxfam. That means just five households have more money than 12.6 million people put together – almost the same as the number of people living below the poverty line.

Key points

  • While austerity measures continue to hit the poorest families hardest, a wealthy elite have seen their incomes spiral upwards. This is exacerbating income inequality that has grown under successive governments over the last quarter of a century.
  • Since the mid 1990s the incomes of the top 0.1 per cent have grown almost four times faster than the incomes of the bottom 90 per cent of the population. In real terms, that means the richest 0.1 per cent have seen their income grow by more than £461 a week, the equivalent of over £24,000 a year.
  • By contrast the bottom 90 per cent have experienced a real-terms increase of £2.82 a week, equivalent to just £147 a year.
  • The most affluent family in the UK (Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor and family), have more wealth than the poorest 10 per cent of the entire population, or 6.3 million people (£7.9 and £7 billion respectively).

Ben Phillips, Oxfam's Director of Campaigns and Policy, said: 'Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, whilst millions of families are struggling to make ends meet... Increasing inequality is a sign of economic failure rather than success. It's far from inevitable – a result of political choices that can be reversed'.

SourceA Tale of Two Britains, Oxfam GB
LinksReport | Oxfam press release | Daily Mail report | Guardian report

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