UK economy should reward hard workers, not just those sitting on their wealth

New figures published today (Friday) by the Office for National Statistics on UK household wealth paint a worrying picture of growing wealth inequality, says the TUC.

In cash terms for 2012-14 the top 10% owned £5.0 trillion of household wealth, which is 44.8% of total UK household wealth (£11.1 trillion). This is up from 43.6% in 2010-12.

The bottom half of the wealth distribution has seen its share decline. The least wealthy 50% had only 8.7% of total UK household wealth in 2012-14, which is down from 9.6% in 2010-12.

GBP Increasing (PD)

The TUC says that the growing share of wealth for those at the top reflects an economy that is too dependent on growth in the value of property and financial investments.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

The economy is paying people too little for hard work, and too much just for sitting on wealth. It is making Britain more and more unequal, with those who are already rich moving even further ahead of the typical family.

“The government must reshape the economy to address the UK’s over-reliance on property and financial investments. Future growth must be built on the firm foundation of higher wages in both the public and private sectors, and investment in skills and industry.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

These eye-opening figures tell you everything you need to know about George Osborne’s time as Chancellor and the true nature of this Tory government – the rich get richer, while the poor have their incomes cut and worry about a heavy debt burden.

“This Tory government has done nothing substantive to tackle the growing problem of wealth inequality in our country, in fact by cutting inheritance tax for a wealthy few at the same time as cutting Universal Credit for working families they are only making matters worse.

“The Chancellor should spend some time this Christmas thinking about the growing wealth gap he has presided over and how to correct this in 2016, otherwise people will just think this report’s damning figures are music to his ears.”

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