YEREVAN, March 18. / ARKA /. In a report, a Tale of Britains, Oxfam charity organization said the poorest 20% in the UK had wealth totaling £28.1bn – an average of £2,230 each. The Guardian says.
The latest rich list from Forbes magazine showed that the five top UK entries – the family of the Duke of Westminster, David and Simon Reuben, the Hinduja brothers, the Cadogan family, and Sports Direct retail boss Mike Ashley – between them had property, savings and other assets worth £28.2bn.
Oxfam urged the government to make a fresh assault on tax avoidance and introduce a living wage. The charity said the government should explore the possibility of a wealth tax after revealing how income gains and the benefits of rising asset prices had disproportionately helped those at the top.
The early stages of the UK's most severe post-war recession saw a fall in inequality as the least well-off were shielded by tax credits and benefits. But the trend has been reversed in recent years as a result of falling real wages, the rising cost of food and fuel, and by the exclusion of most poor families from home and share ownership.
Oxfam's director of campaigns and policy, Ben Phillips, said: "Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.
"It's deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline." -0-