In the United Kingdom, the wealth of the richest 10 per cent of people is estimated at £10.8 trillion, compared with the poorest 1 per cent who own just £1.1 trillion, according to new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
The wealth gap between the top 10 per,000 households and the rest of the population has widened to a level that is equivalent to the gap between Denmark and Sweden, which accounts for about 50 per cent.
The IFS has been compiling wealth statistics since 2003 and found that in the last decade, the gap widened by nearly 30 per cent, from £1,600 to £2,000 for each household.
It said the UK’s share of global wealth rose by almost £3 trillion in the same period, while the wealth gap widened to £3,300 per person, a level comparable to the US.
The Institute for Social Research (ISS), which commissioned the research, said it showed that people were beginning to think about how much they have and how much their society should be prepared to give.
The findings came as the UK government announced plans to raise taxes on those earning more than £1 million, after growing concerns about inequality and a rising proportion of families with children.
The UK’s highest earners will see a 1.2 per cent increase to their personal income tax rate from April 1, from April 15.
However, the government said it was taking “steps” to boost the country’s income tax revenue.
The new income tax rates will also apply to those earning over £10,000, which is currently exempt.
“The wealth effect is growing, but we need to do more to tackle it,” said David Pryce, director of policy at the IFS.
It said it expected that more than 20 per cent or more of the UK population would be affected by the new tax measures, while many would not even be aware of their wealth.
“This is a critical time for the country,” he said.
“While some households may not be aware that they have wealth, their share of national income will be higher than it is now.”
The government needs to ensure that the wealth that exists in the UK is shared with the rest.
“Mr Pryce added that inequality had increased in the past five years, and that many of the gains were being taken by the top 5 per,001.
He said it could take five years for the gap to close.”
We should be doing everything we can to create wealth and give that to the people of the country so they can create jobs, improve living standards and provide a better quality of life for all of us,” he added.”
I’m sure we can all agree that inequality has been growing in the United States for many years, but this is the first time that the scale of this has been seen here in the US, and this is a big step forward.
“The IFS said that in recent years, people were starting to realise that they had a share of the wealth and were trying to make a contribution towards tackling it.
It highlighted that the richest 5 per cent were earning a total of more than $3.9 trillion and had seen a 26 per cent jump in their wealth over the last five years.
For the rest, it said, the median wealth per household was £1-million, while those in the bottom 50 per,0000 earned £400.
The institute said the wealth increase in the previous five years would have been even higher had the rich seen the income tax changes that had been made.
Some of the changes to income tax, including the increase in stamp duty and the reduction in the rate of the 20 per, 1 per, 2 per, 5 per and 10 per per cent income tax bands, would have pushed up wealth for most families.
There were also measures introduced to tackle the high levels of debt held by many people, it added.
Overall, the income inequality gap between rich and poor had increased by a fifth since 2003, it found.
The Iftar dinner will be held in London on Sunday to celebrate the first anniversary of the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil a national budget to be unveiled on Tuesday.