Top 1% dominate wealth

Submitted by martin on 5 January, 2021 - 6:05 Author: Rhodri Evans

A new report from the Resolution Foundation finds that family wealth in the UK is grossly unequal and becoming more so.

The top one per cent (average net wealth £5 million per adult in the family) have 23% of all household wealth, and a much higher proportion of the wealth that brings power (financial wealth and business assets, as against wealth in houses or in pension assets). The top 10% have 55%.

The new report draws on a range of statistics and calculations to offset under-reporting in the official Wealth and Assets Survey.

Wealth inequality decreased over the 20th century until the Thatcher years (probably because of the decline of the landed aristocracy plus widening house ownership plus more occupational pensions plus middling-income people living longer). It has risen since then.

A big factor in the rise since 2006-08, according to the report, is price rises for financial assets, in parts thanks to boosts from Quantitative Easing.

The Wealth Tax Commission report published on 9 December 2020 finds that "a one-off wealth tax payable on all individual wealth above £500,000 and charged at 1% a year for five years would raise £260 billion; at a threshold of £2 million it would raise £80 billion".

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