Friday, February 02, 2018

Office for National Statistics report reveals massive wealth gap that is not getting smaller

The ONS has released its latest figures from the Wealth and Assets Survey. Findings include:
  • In July 2014 to June 2016, the wealth held by the top 10% of households was around five times greater than the wealth of the bottom half of all households combined.
  • The wealthiest 10% own 44% of all wealth, those in the “Middle wealth” category (51% -90%) own 47% of all wealth, and the poorest half own just 9% of all wealth. 
  • The bottom 10% of households have total wealth of £14,100 or less, the top 10% of households have total wealth of £1,208,300 or more, and the top 1% of households have total wealth of £3,227,500 or more.
  • There was a striking increase in the value of net property wealth for households in London compared with all other regions; median net property wealth in London was £351,000 in July 2014 to June 2016, a 33% increase from £263,000 in July 2012 to June 2014.
  • Total aggregate debt of all households in Great Britain was £1.23 trillion in July 2014 to June 2016 (a 7% increase from July 2012 to June 2014), of which £1.12 trillion was mortgage debt (6% higher) and £117.0 billion was financial debt (15% higher). 
  • Young people (16-34) are clustered in the bottom wealth deciles, whereas the opposite is true of older households (65+). 

Responding, Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

“The evidence points to a dramatic wealth gap that is not getting any smaller. It is a major driver of the disadvantages faced by younger people, who are currently struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder.

“Conservative policies on inheritance tax and capital gains tax have only widened this inequality of wealth between generations.”

“Wealth should be a key to unlocking opportunities, not a barrier to them."
 
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