Oxfam has urged the government to do more to tackle inequality, after new research found that five families are worth more than 20 per cent of the population.
Five families in the UK are collectively wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the UK’s population, according to a new report from Oxfam which calls for more measures to raise living standards and support struggling households in the UK.
The report, entitled ‘A Tale of Two Britains’, uses data from the latest Forbes Billionaires List to determine the extent of the wealth held by five of the UK’s most affluent households. It then compares this with information obtained from Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth databook, which was used to calculate the wealth of the UK’s least privileged households.
It found that the poorest fifth of the UK population can draw on wealth amounting to £28.1 billion. In contrast, the UK’s five richest families collectively hold around £28.2 billion, with the Duke of Westminster leading the way.
Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor has been referred to as Britain’s wealthiest private individual for many years thanks to his ownership of extensive lands in central London. His lands encompass 190 acres of exclusive Belgravia, and as the property market continues to spiral his wealth is also on the rise.
Oxfam’s report says that the duke and his family are worth nearly £8 billion, slightly more than is attributed to the poorest ten per cent of the UK.
The top five are completed by David and Simon Reuben, who have also invested in the UK property market and financed major investments in tech firms; the Hinduja brothers of multinational Hinduja Group; the Earl of Cadogan, who also owns acres of land in central London; and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
“While many rich people use a portion of their wealth to support individual good causes, this should not be used as an excuse for governments failing to tackle the problem of growing inequality,” said Ben Phillips, director of campaigns and policy at Oxfam.
The charity is now calling on the government to do more to tackle inequality and take more Britons out of poverty. As well as continuing with its efforts to combat tax avoidance and evasion, Oxfam is urging the government to set out a long-term plan to increase the minimum wage until it reaches a living wage.
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