In a report published on Monday, March 17, the famous NGO Oxfam points the finger at growing inequalities in the British society. The report reveals that today the five wealthiest families in Britain have more money than the poorest 20 % of the country, that is to say about 12.6 million people.
Oxfam has estimated the total capital held by these five families at 28.2 billion pounds whereas the poorest 20 % own 28.1 billion pounds only.
More especially , the family of the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor has 77 acres of land in London, 39,000 in Scotland, 13,000 in Spain, runs a large real estate group and is at the head of a larger fortune than the combined wealth of the country’s poorest 10 %.
This reflects the fact that the UK is a deeply divided nation and this gap between British people keeps widening. Indeed , over the past two decades, the richest 0.1% have seen their incomes grow nearly four times faster than 90% of the less affluent. The most suprising is that , as Oxfam report shows , for the first time among the ” poor” households , those living with a labor income are more numerous than those without job.
These inequalities are in fact due to the tax cuts granted to the richest households and in contrast the tax increases suffered by the poorest households. This policy was proposed in March 2012 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Georges Osborne, in order to boost the economy and favor the individual intiative. So to reduce these inequalities, the British government must improve the social redistribution and fight against tax evasion.
Yet hardly two days after the report was published Georges Osborne presented a budget that will change absolutely nothing in the former economic policies and even cap social spending until the elections scheduled in 2015. Therefore since reducing social inequalities doesn’t seem to be the primary concern of this government, this problem is unlikely to be solved in the near future…
Halimata NIANE & Mithula PANCHALINGAM