The man imposing bitter poverty and hardship on tens of millions of people in Britain has officially entered the ranks of the super-wealthy. Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have made the Sunday Times Rich List of Britain’s wealthiest 250 people for the first time. Their fortune is estimated at £730 million.
How can anyone believe Sunak understands what life is like for the people who “self-disconnect” from their electricity and gas because they can’t afford it? Or the parents who don’t eat so their children can have a meal?
Last month it became clear Murty had claimed non-dom status to legally not pay tax on annual dividends she receives from a £690 million stake in the IT company Infosys. It was founded by her billionaire father.
The Tories see all this as success. Justice secretary Dominic Raab said Sunak was “a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business.” He added, “I think we want more of those people.” The entire list is an indictment of a class society that’s becoming ever more unequal.
Overall, the richest individuals and families this year are worth £711 billion, an 8 percent rise on last year’s £658 billion. The number of British billionaires has reached a new record, up six from last year to 177, Their loot has increased by 9.4 percent to a record £653 billion.
Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, calculated that if total household wealth in Britain had increased at the same rate as the wealth of the Top 20 entrants on the rich list over the past decade, the average household would now have £205,000 more than they currently do.
Sri and Gopi Hinduja topped the list with an estimated £28.5 billion hoard. It’s the largest wealth ever recorded by the Rich List. Number two was Sir James Dyson with his £23 billion wealth.
It’s not just businessmen cashing in. The queen, about to celebrate another milestone in living off the rest of us, has seen her personal wealth go up by £5 million to £370 million. Much of her loot is hidden in royal accounts and not counted here.
Instead of cheering the rise in billionaires, we should be taxing their wealth. But real justice requires doing away with a system that produces the super-rich.
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