An Oxfam report published this week has found that the richest 1% of the UK population owns more than 20 times the wealth of the poorest 20%. The results of the report mean that Britain has one of the highest rates of inequality in the developed world.
The charity’s report analysed data from Credit Suisse and found that the richest 10% of the UK population own over half of the country’s total wealth, with the top 1% owning nearly a quarter. The poorest 20% share just 0.8% of the UK’s wealth between them.
Rachael Orr, head of Oxfam’s UK Programme, said in an interview that “inequality is a massive barrier to tackling poverty and has created an economy that clearly isn’t working for everyone. While executive pay soars, one in five people live below the poverty line and struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table.”
Oxfam has recommended that measures to decrease this gap include making sure higher earners are paying their fair share of taxes, and encouraging employers to distribute their wealth fairly when deciding salaries.
A Downing Street spokesperson said the government had made changes such as bringing in the National Living Wage and reforming the welfare system, but admitted that more needed to be done to help both the poorest in the UK as well as families struggling to make ends meet.