Richest 'better off, families hit'

Bicester Advertiser: Houses in Notting Hill, London, which has prospered despite the downturn Houses in Notting Hill, London, which has prospered despite the downturn

The richest 10% of British households own 44% of total household wealth, according to official figures that show this share has increased under the Coalition while families have become worse off.

This group, mainly millionaires, own around five times as much as the poorest half of the population, who between them have just 9%.

Meanwhile the most common type of household - couples with children - saw their average wealth fall by 3% between 2008/10 and 2010/12.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the top tenth of society controlled £4.2 trillion of the total £9.5 trillion of assets - a slightly higher proportion than two years before.

Campaigners said it was "further evidence of increasing inequality" though the Treasury pointed to an inequality index figure published as part of the figures which had remained unchanged.

The figures showed the wealthiest fifth of households had 105 times more than the least wealthy fifth. They had 92 times more in the previous period.

Some 9% of households had assets of £1 million or more.

The data also revealed how London had prospered in spite of the downturn, with average wealth up 31% between 2006/8 and 2010/12, compared with an average across England of 11%.

In parts of the Midlands this was flat while families in the North East were 10% worse off over the period, as property wealth fell.

Half of all households had total wealth of £218,400 or more, up from £204,300 two years before. This "median" average measure was the highest in the South East, at £309,700, the figures showed.

The figures showed overall wealth had risen over the two years from £9 trillion, with the largest component coming from private pension wealth, standing at £3.6 trillion.

Property wealth stood at £3.5 trillion, with physical wealth - including the contents of homes, valuable and collectibles - at £1.1 trillion. This included personalised number plates, which the figures showed were owned by 7% of households.

Financial wealth - including current accounts, savings, bonds and shares as well as non-mortgage debts - was £1.3 trillion.

London saw the largest rise in this type of wealth between 2006/08 and 2010/12, up by 26%. But a quarter of all households in the latest period found themselves in "negative net financial wealth".

The figures also showed 25% of households in Great Britain had outstanding balances on a credit card, while 11% owned a property other than their main home and 24% had no private pension assets.

Rachael Orr, Oxfam Head of UK Poverty Programme said: "This is another shocking chapter in a tale of two Britains, further evidence of increasing inequality.

"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."

A Treasury spokesman said: "The main measure of wealth inequality has remained constant since this survey began in 2006."

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:57pm Thu 15 May 14

s&k says...

We get what we deserve?
We get what we deserve? s&k
  • Score: -4

6:16pm Thu 15 May 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

I wont talk about fairness, however this is not right and can be taken as moribund and obscene.
This collection of wealth for a minority, is an unbalanced and unnatural dystopian creation by certain groups in society, that collect and congregate around themselves.
What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine, a type of Orwellian homage to Animal Farm, has now been cultivated into a dangerous extreme.
AVPG
I wont talk about fairness, however this is not right and can be taken as moribund and obscene. This collection of wealth for a minority, is an unbalanced and unnatural dystopian creation by certain groups in society, that collect and congregate around themselves. What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine, a type of Orwellian homage to Animal Farm, has now been cultivated into a dangerous extreme. AVPG A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 2

6:41pm Thu 15 May 14

cliffwalker says...

"Every nation gets the government it deserves" or to put it another way you put them in. If you don't like what your masters are doing to you, vote them out at the next election.
When you read these threads on the Echo, you'd think the width of cycle lanes or which Saints player is in the World Cup squad is more important than a tax and benefits system which has become more and more stacked against the ordinary people of Southampton in favour of those who are already well off.
"Every nation gets the government it deserves" or to put it another way you put them in. If you don't like what your masters are doing to you, vote them out at the next election. When you read these threads on the Echo, you'd think the width of cycle lanes or which Saints player is in the World Cup squad is more important than a tax and benefits system which has become more and more stacked against the ordinary people of Southampton in favour of those who are already well off. cliffwalker
  • Score: 3

7:21pm Thu 15 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

It's true that the gap between rich and poor is far wider nowadays than it was in Victorian times - and contrary to mainstream propaganda drives, single people are also affected by the recession, not solely the idealised heterosexual gender normative nuclear family that politicians and the tabloids are wont to wax lyrical about.
It's true that the gap between rich and poor is far wider nowadays than it was in Victorian times - and contrary to mainstream propaganda drives, single people are also affected by the recession, not solely the idealised heterosexual gender normative nuclear family that politicians and the tabloids are wont to wax lyrical about. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 3

8:01pm Thu 15 May 14

Jonn says...

It's plainly obvious that a major wealth grab has been happening, especially since 2008.
Austerity is a con, it's purely about cuts for the masses and a redirection of money to the few.
It's plainly obvious that a major wealth grab has been happening, especially since 2008. Austerity is a con, it's purely about cuts for the masses and a redirection of money to the few. Jonn
  • Score: 5

9:32pm Thu 15 May 14

gramps427 says...

The greatest flaw in counting wealth is that its biggest component is property; and those figures are inflated giving a false perspective. This can change in a flash as the market is constantly being manipulated and the effect of one person sneezing can send shivers through the markets. That's why the Government, with the help of the news media and manipulated so called facts, are desperate to continuously talk up the lie about our economy; because it's their own pockets and that of their friends which will be devastated.
The greatest flaw in counting wealth is that its biggest component is property; and those figures are inflated giving a false perspective. This can change in a flash as the market is constantly being manipulated and the effect of one person sneezing can send shivers through the markets. That's why the Government, with the help of the news media and manipulated so called facts, are desperate to continuously talk up the lie about our economy; because it's their own pockets and that of their friends which will be devastated. gramps427
  • Score: 3
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree