There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.
For such an important topic, the distribution of wealth in the UK gets surprisingly little coverage.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the current distribution of wealth in the UK looks like this.
The bottom 50% of the population own less than 10% of the wealth of the country, which means that the top 50% own more than 90% of it. The bottom 88% own roughly half of the wealth, with the top 12% owning the other half. Perhaps most strikingly, the top 1% own over 13% of the country’s wealth, which is the same as the bottom 58% of the country’s population.
And the bottom 20% of the population – around 13 million people – collectively own only around 0.5% of the wealth of the country. Truly, they are being fed with the crumbs from the rich man’s table. In the parable, the poor man received his reward in heaven, and the rich man went to hell – there was, however, no earthly justice.
But of course, it does not have to be like this. There is no economic law that says wealth has to be distributed so unequally; it was not so unequally distributed in the past; and there are many other countries in which it is more equally distributed than in the UK.
To fix it, we need politicians to take five, relatively simple steps.
If this matters to you, please do sign up and join the 99% Organisation.