The latest Sunday Times Rich List, published in May, reveals bigger-than-ever fortunes for the elite but growing band of billionaires in the UK.
The country’s 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families have boosted their combined fortunes by 14%, or £83bn, to £658bn over the past year.
The number of UK-based billionaires has risen from 120 in 2016 to 134 in 2017, while London has more billionaires than any other city in the world.
Quoted in the Guardian, the executive director of the Equality Trust, Wanda Wyporska, said the £83bn could pay the energy bills of all UK households for two and a half years and would be enough for the grocery bills for all food bank users for 56 years.
“The super-rich continue to streak away from the rest of us, while the poorest see their wealth shrink. This is an economy working for the few, not the many,” she said. “Two-thirds of children in poverty are in working households. We know that inequality damages our economy and society, and makes it harder for ordinary people and their children to get on.”
Polls show that 78% of Britons would support higher taxes on the richest. By a margin of four to one they believe the government should make it harder rather than easier for people to become extremely rich.