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Does rich list boost spell recovery?

08:29 UK time, Sunday, 25 April 2010

The UK's super-rich have seen a resurgence in their fortunes, the Sunday Times Rich List suggests. Does this point towards economic recovery?

London-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal topped the list for the sixth consecutive year with a £22.45bn fortune. Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich remains in second place with a total wealth of £7.4bn.

Many, including Mr Mittal, were hit badly by the economic downturn, shrinking their wealth in 2009. But the collective fortunes of the top 1,000 on the list have risen by 30% in the past year - the biggest jump in the list's 22-year history - to £333.5bn.

What is your reaction to this year's rich list results? What does this jump in wealth indicate? Is it a sign of economic recovery in the UK?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    When you make comparisons with 2009 of course their wealth has increased by about 30%. Anyone of these whose hasn't, has not kept in step with the rise in stockmarkets in that period which, guess what, has been about 30%. The real comparison should be agianst 2008 or even 2007 before the downturn.

  • Comment number 2.

    There has never been any decline of the fortunes of those on the rich list to enable a resurgence to occur. In times of famine the rich get richer and the poor starve, in times of plenty the rich get richer and the poor just get by or even starve. Proportionately as a measure of what has been available for the taking the rich always take more whatever the world's or regional or national economy is doing performace wise. Nothing has changed for all the politicians words or possible good intentions.

  • Comment number 3.

    A "rich list boost" does not indicate economic recovery, only further wealth concentration.

  • Comment number 4.

    Good for them! I'm always happy to see success in my fellow human beings, unlike those pathetic jealous types who keep moaning about it "not being fair waaah".

  • Comment number 5.

    If we took half of the wealth of these 1000 people as a one-off "downturn tax" , we could pay off the whole of the national deficit without raising taxes on the rest of us or cutting services, and it would not affect their lifestyle one bit. What does one person do with £22.4 billion anyway ?

    And, #4, since when did ownership of large amounts of wealth equate to "success" ? I guess Shakespeare, Mozart, Dickens, Darwin and Einstein were a bunch of miserable failures ?

  • Comment number 6.

    It is just paper rise based on stock market and commodities recovery from hitting the bottom last March. Same as we have seen with the house values that have stopped falling making most of us technically slightly better off than last March. The good news at least we have some of these people still in the UK; spending their money here, we need to attract more of these people to the UK, that's the way to redistribute the global wealth to our benefit. Same with foreign companies we need to attract more of them to invest in UK businesses and jobs, this is one way to grow our economy and start paying off the massive debt.

  • Comment number 7.

    A lot of people believe that there is one law for the rich and one law for the rest of us. In fact there is no law for the rich. Hence why they can float above normal society and continue to amass wealth and prosperity even when so many others are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and buy food.

  • Comment number 8.

    There's just one answer to all these people who moan about the rich - if you want to join them, get up off your backside and do something instead of sitting aroung whinging about it.

    Most of the people in the rich list started with nothing and built up their fortune by hard work (and maybe a bit of luck). How many people in this country now rely on these people for employment? Why should these people support the slackers who think everything should be handed to them on a plate.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's a sign of economic recovery for the very rich. Nothing else.

  • Comment number 10.

    the only useful thing about a rish list is that we now know whose been screwing the rest of us most effectively and who we should pay the moist tax.

  • Comment number 11.

    Just tax them accordingly.

  • Comment number 12.

    Just what is our preoccupation with wealth, and apparent wish to covert a person who can pay for the employment of between 1.1 and 2.5 million people at a realistic wage?

  • Comment number 13.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 14.

    4. At 09:46am on 25 Apr 2010, Andrew wrote:
    Good for them! I'm always happy to see success in my fellow human beings, unlike those pathetic jealous types who keep moaning about it "not being fair waaah".

    In principle, I would agree. However, my UK income has reduced in value by about 30% as a result of variations in the exchange rate over the same period of time mentioned, and that's something I have no control over at all. At the risk of sounding jealous and pathetic, I would just like to know where the money went.

  • Comment number 15.

    It further underlines the hypocrisy of Labour MPs warning the Tories are only there to feather the nests of the rich. The reality is the difference between rich and poor under Labour has increased considerably.

  • Comment number 16.

    Using these statistics shows that wealth trickles up not down as certain right wing economic theories suggest. The the Friedman economics experiment has not benefited the majority at all, end it now.

  • Comment number 17.

    #8 Andy

    But I do not want to be rich, I work hard, I believe I am a worthwhile human being, and I like sharing my "success" with others. I call it generosity both materially and spiritually. I may die "poor" but at least there will be no blood on my hands, and my conscience will be clear.

    Will you?

  • Comment number 18.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 19.

    I mean, *really* - who cares?

  • Comment number 20.

    Isn't it wonderful. Not only do these people accumulate obscene wealth that comes not out of thin air, but your pocket; they also manage to convince some (see an incredibly naive and nasty post above) that their wealth is in our interests! Brilliant.
    Try putting the words "Sunday times", "rich list", fraud, investigation, tax, offshore, and so on into a well-known search engine.

  • Comment number 21.

    No it just proves whatever happens in the world the rich either get richer or at worst stay as they are . I don't know why papers print rubbish like these lists I'm not interested in these people who I expect pay less tax than a cleaner on £6.00 an hour.

  • Comment number 22.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 23.

    4. At 09:46am on 25 Apr 2010, Andrew wrote:
    Good for them! I'm always happy to see success in my fellow human beings, unlike those pathetic jealous types who keep moaning about it "not being fair waaah

    ..........................................................

    The pathetic people are the ones who think the only way to make a success of your life is to be rich.

  • Comment number 24.

    Andrew wrote:

    Good for them! I'm always happy to see success in my fellow human beings, unlike those pathetic jealous types who keep moaning about it "not being fair waaah".

    ============

    a.k.a the left wing. Such a miserable bunch, they want all of society to be average rather than see those with hard work and talent excel in life.

    I applaud anyone who manages to rake in millions from a business or shrewd decisions. Good on them and thanks for choosing Briton to spend your wealth in.

    This will have the BBC's left wing HYS members frothing at the mouth.

    May I also take this time to congratulate Goldman Sachs for being one of the few banks that didn't need bailout money and has made staggering profits.

    Three cheers for capitalism, for entrepreneurs, for excellence, for business.

    I suggest the lefties move to a socialist paradise like Chavez has created. Have fun in the half-stocked shops and the rationing of electricity he's introduced.

  • Comment number 25.

    Vile, absolutely vile.

    I wonder why it always seems that the set of people making all the rules and the set of people who have all the money always seem to have such a close convergence.

    Those in one set but not both at any particular point are generally using their time in one set to justify their future inclusion in the other, or both.

    Every few years they switch roles again, shuffle the cards a bit so we don't notice.

  • Comment number 26.

    With great personal wealth comes even greater responsibility, but as far as I can see not much is shown by these wealthy people.

    I personally would use such wealth to change society and the world to benefit all, I would not just waste it on poor and poverty stricken people of which there is an endemic continuous cycle of unsustainability.

    I would actually use my wealth to push prices up for some, and profits down for others.

    For instance, the attocity that is the leather processing industry in Africa, where thousands of people are enslaved to a cycle of poverty and deprivation, just so that big brand names and others can gain leather for their trainers at minimal price but which is also an extortionately deprived price for those doing the work.

    I would use my wealth to create co-operatives in all areas of manufacturing and services, so that instead of the current capitalist pyramid system where a tiny percentage at the top gain most of the wealth and benefits of the hard graft of masses lower down, it would mean that those who carry out the work have a much larger share of the proceeds from their endevours.

    It's all very well Bill Gates giving all his money to various charitys, but ultimately unless other significant changes in many nations are implemented, the vast majority of his donations is just a waste.

    We see lots of nice projects on tv, looking after, protecting and educating children, thing is, as those children get older they are left to exist in a place and systems which have not improved and as soon as many are discarded from child projects many instantly become victims of one sort or another. There seems to be this ridiculous notion and practice which basically only tempory improves and protects peoples lives while they are young.

    In Africa, the biggest problems are caused by African men, whos traditions and concepts are often excused.

    I hate it when I see a programm on TV that reports upon westerners going to certain places to have sex with children, when the reality is that sex tourism by white foreigners is just a TINY part of the whole attrocious situation whereby so many African men have sex with children.
    Of course in programmes showing nasty white foreigners, they dont explain and inform of 5/6/7/8/9 etc year old girls being forced into marriages. If it is reported, the thing thats attrociously not even mentioned is that many of these are sexual relationships.

    There are a few African countrys where over 60% of girls are raped before they are 16, is it no wonder that Aids/HIV is at such attrocious levels.

    Many of the charitable projects, either instigated and paid for by the wealthy, or by BBC children in need etc, are just tempory solutions that basically alleviate immediate despair for a few, yes they do provide some education and assistance to improve life but outside of these projects remains and continues a huge number of predatory African men, who many are like psycotic lions.

    To tempory protect a few and provide them with certain education and abilitys is fine, but they still have to face life in the lions den.

    I personally would direct more resources at taming the lions, at changing the behaviour of many African men, thing is, the numbers are just so huge and so many are just beyond any reasonable reach, mentally, or cost effectively that the cycle of violence and depravity is already hugely beyond any ability to reduce its continuous cycle.

    By providing decent jobs, with decent pay, in combination with educational programmes which include acceptable behaviour is the only real way to effect change.

    The continued cycle of poverty wages and conditions to provide cheap materials to maximise profits for the wealthy and then to give a bit of it back to alleviate problems, is just so pretentious.

    The attrociously highly wealthy are mainly part of many problems, because they have mainly used the cycle of depravity to gain their wealth, so when 1 may give £$50 million away, it means nothing and is a pitance in comparison to that which they gain by continuous use and abuse of an attrocious economic system which relys and thrives upon manufacturing and managing a continuous level of poverty and despair.

    You, would be mistaken to think that just one person has gained this wealth solely from their own endevours, the reality is that thousands upon thousands have created this wealth and it is just that a few are clever in extracting maximum wealth from those who are ultimately its creators, the workers, whether it is low paid 3rd world/developing nations miners in attrocious conditions supplying materials for Bill Gates computors, or those who process and supply leather products for big brand footwear companys.

    Where there is great wealth, there is always an unseen negative and morally attrocious price of it's accumulation.

    You'd think many of these rich people are super wonderful moral humans, if you dig a bit deeper into the reality of their wealth, most are really not very nice people in ANY respect.

  • Comment number 27.

    All this means is that even more obscene proportions of mankinds wealth is being hoarded by a handful of people. Why do we allow this to happen? They have the wealth, which means they also have the power to keep it. We need the means to strip them of their wealth and redistribute it amongst the poor. Do not ask me to pay for the world economic crisis when there are people with £20 billion in their current account. There is only so much money in the world - lets spread it out a bit more evenly.

  • Comment number 28.

    Most of the people in the rich list started with nothing and built up their fortune by hard work (and maybe a bit of luck).
    -----------------
    Or one could see it as they were the ones who best exploited insidious marketing, cost-cutting, overseas sourcing, dodgy tax regulations, insane and unsupportable commercial credit etc etc. to play the system best up to this point.

    I see the value in people producing new, innovative things but most of these people produce much the same nonsense as each other, the winners being those that cut costs most brutally and foist it on a dim public the most efficiently / perniciously.

    Real creativity and British innovation is a great thing, but these industry leaders (with a couple of exceptions) have little of that, they just screwed us better than the others.

  • Comment number 29.

    All those "riches" came from somewhere - us.

    and we don't even get much of it back, as most of it is not taxed.

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't understand why the Duke of Westminster and the Queen are listed. It's not their money...it's ours!

  • Comment number 31.

    There's just one answer to all these people who moan about the rich - if you want to join them, get up off your backside and do something instead of sitting aroung whinging about it.
    --------------------
    No green-eyed monster factor here, I am paid what I'd consider far too much for my relatively meaningless job - not that I'm going to give any of it back, I /am/ human but don't believe my role in society is worth many times the input of a soldier, for example.

    I think nurses shoudl be paid more than people who mess around with money, I'd support bonuses for fireman per life saved over a bonus for somebody who 'made' money on some imaginary market.

    It's not a matter of 'theyve got more money then me' in many cases, it's an increasing disquiet over what we seem to regard as 'valuable' in society - take an average squaddy and investment analyst at 25 now and project their lives 25 years ahead, who'd going to have the most comfort in their old age and how much did they give, not just do-for-reward ?

  • Comment number 32.

    11. At 10:31am on 25 Apr 2010, Tibor wrote:
    Just tax them accordingly.

    Your suggesting that we tax the to high hills?,how long do you think they would remain in UK?.

    Most of these people built there fotunes and worked hard for it and i dont think they are willing or should they be expected to pay for the finacial ruin the socialist LABOUR PARTY created.

    Only in the socialist mind is being rich and successful a crime,maybe that why all socialist end up the same way....BANKRUPT.

    Oh and please dont anyone respond with China as example of a socialist state,it a dictatorship that embraced capitalism.

  • Comment number 33.

    The wealth concentrated in the hands of these few is not produced by them at all. It is wealth created by others i.e people who work and their surplus labour. These people are parasites whose riches makes a mockery of an equal society. Capitalism is for the benefit of the few as these figures vividly expose. There can be no true democracy whilst this inequality remains, only socialism will bring about a fair equal and just society where classes no longer exist.

  • Comment number 34.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 35.

    For us 'ordinaries' it does not point to economic recovery any more than Mrs. Thatcher's 'trickle down' theory actually enriched the poor. Depression is an opportunity the megarich cannot miss out on, with reduced wage costs, and sometimes, increased interest rates. All Western governments must look after the rich as a priority for their survival, hence no real attacks on bankers bonuses even those in State supported banks.

  • Comment number 36.

    SystemF wrote:
    a.k.a the left wing. Such a miserable bunch, they want all of society to be average rather than see those with hard work and talent excel in life.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Oh no, I’m not average. I came from a working class background and got a higher degree grade than Prince Charles. I work hard to provide an excellent service in my public sector job and am not rewarded well materially, but I’m rich in the knowledge that my work makes other people’s lives better.
    But the next time the Queen moans about needing more taxpayers’ money to refurbish her mansions, can someone please remind her she does have a few pennies in the bank she can spend?

  • Comment number 37.

    Does rich list boost spell economic recovery? Only for a chosen few but remember, there's no pockets in shrouds

  • Comment number 38.

    Hard work and wealth are not correlated. Most people work hard and earn a tiny fraction of what these people do. The rich have the power to change laws and rules in their favour to make themselves even richer. They do not play within the rules, they change the rules to consolidate their power and wealth, at the expense of everyone else. Most of their wealth should be taxed away, its immoral to have that much wealth when people are in poverty through no fault of their own.

  • Comment number 39.

    Ask the ordinary person of the street and they'll tell you the real state of play.

  • Comment number 40.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 41.

    Rich List? I can honestly say I'm not in the slightest envious of any one of them. Best Regards, Maurice Young.

  • Comment number 42.

    Funnily enough, an old grammar school classmate of mine is on the Rich List, worth several hundred million pounds. He was the class fattie, an oleaceous clever-ass with sharp elbows, smarmy and generally unpopular, but rather good at making money, so it would seem.
    I am so glad, that money isn't everything.

  • Comment number 43.

    Exactly what is being counted ?How many beans someone has in comparison to someone else ? Is that really the worth of a human being ? I am least impressed by 'wealth' and more so by a persons ability to make a positive difference to the people around them or the world they live in. If this 'wealth' is really another way of saying how much influence and control they have over other less fortunate people, please let it be a positive influence.

  • Comment number 44.

    Some people are truly exceptional. They have the ability to guide sometimes unatractive and unprofitable businesses into shining stars (Lakshmi Mittal, steel production), while others will start up a business in an area that is frought with difficulty, and regulation, yet prove that business accumen can lead the way (Richard Branson with Virgin Airlines).
    The simple fact is, put these people in any situation and they will shine. You can tax them to the hilt, and they will still rise to the top. They are the cream, and to put them down & criticise says more about the accuser than the accused. Sure, let's have equal education for everyone, I'm all in favour of that, let's start out with a level playing field, but in the end there will always be people who lead, and people who follow - it's the nature of the beast, and will never change, ever.

  • Comment number 45.

    If I were ever lucky enough to appear on this 'rich list' it would be due to hard work and endeavour and not inheritance. If then I was taxed too highly I would seriously consider if it was worthwhile making the effort and most likely would end up sitting on my wealth instead of making it grow.

    Over taxing the rich can only be to the detriment of the country -it forces them to leave and with them goes any potential spreading of the wealth - our loss becomes another nation's gain.

    I say tax the rich but don't take it too far or we will all be the losers. Back in the 1970's the Labour Party introduced the Super Tax at 98%. It caused a brain drain of huge proportions and we lost many gifted entrepreneurs. What incentive is there to earn cash to invest if you have to hand all but a fraction of it to the government?

  • Comment number 46.

    That any one human being can accumulate such dizzying amounts of wealth demonstrates the corruption within human society, not success as some claim.

    Saying that some of these people "provide jobs", which the writers think makes everything OK, is a nonsense. Implying that "we" could be as rich too if only we worked harder is silly and naive beyond belief.

    These super rich are the people of the world who don't have to worry about "boom and bust", they simply milk the rest of us, all of the time.





  • Comment number 47.

    "The rich list proves they dont' pay enough tax " in the U.K.

  • Comment number 48.

    as has already been mentioned above, I think its probably not much more than a reflection of the stock markets. I cannot understand how/why the FTSE 100 has done so well over the past year. Markets seem to be behaving in an increasingly irrational manner as investor confidence seems to me to be driven more by desperation and general confusion than anything else. I think the stock market has a slight bubble again - i for one can see no solid reason for this prosperity recently and expect the reality of this observation to be reflected by the markets at some point soon.

  • Comment number 49.

    Its a good thing the rish are earning more as it should mean the rest of us should get some crumbs.

    Sadly this shows how Labour is happy to support the rich, and that includes the union leaders.

  • Comment number 50.

    "There is only so much money in the world - lets spread it out a bit more evenly."

    Not true. The strange fact is that the financiers and governments "make it up"! The UK has been doing it recently, they call it quantitative easing.

    But money is not the same as wealth. That's why the rich launder their money into property, for example.

  • Comment number 51.

    Unless their 30% increase in wealth represents 30% of new jobs created in the UK then the answer has to be no. I will ignore the extra tax liability due, as we all know that their legal/accounting teams will find the relevant loopholes to avoid extra payments.
    Considering that the list contains owners of multi-national companies that will have the scope to move employment from high wage cost countries to low wage cost countries, I would guess that that their increased wealth had a detrimental effect on the UK economy.

  • Comment number 52.

    Andrew wrote:
    Good for them! I'm always happy to see success in my fellow human beings, unlike those pathetic jealous types who keep moaning about it "not being fair waaah".
    ---------------

    But they're not your fellow human beings. How dare you compare yourself to them? They're considerably better than pathetic whiners who moan about jealous types.

    But yes, I'm jealous of anybody who can exploit Capitalism after it's just sunk us into the biggest mire since the 30s and still manage to pathetically whine about the unions and a so-called "tax on jobs".

  • Comment number 53.

    The share of the few has led to 100's of millions of people in poverty.

    Guess who's paying, yes us again and every other nation who pays tax, this is the result of greedy greedy investment banking. I have no objection to someone making money from good business, investment bankers are the leechers of the world, do nothing with nothing but make people pay for it.

  • Comment number 54.

    "Most of these people built there fotunes and worked hard for it and i dont think they are willing or should they be expected to pay for the finacial ruin the socialist LABOUR PARTY created."

    Yes, panchopablo, the super rich who you don't think should be expected to pay higher taxes, can indeed take themselves off to some desirable location. The rest of the UK population will be left behind to pay, directly or indirectly, for the financial ruin created by an economic system played to such advantage by the rich.
    (Refering to the economic system as "socialist" is faintly ridiculous)

  • Comment number 55.

    Super-rich resurgence doesn't point towards economic recovery.
    It means the rich get rich, and the poor get poorer...and if you look real closely, you'll see these two facts are (and always have been) inter-related.
    What is my reaction to this year's rich list results?
    A little jealousy that these folk don't have to struggle and juggle to pay their bills, the way I do.
    What does this jump in wealth indicate?
    I don't know. It didn't happen to me. Why not interview those to whom it happened?
    Is it a sign of economic recovery in the UK?
    No, because wealth has always been too concentrated
    - in the hands of a few and
    - in a few countries.
    The rich getting richer is more an indicator of what is wrong with the economy than a sign of recovery.

  • Comment number 56.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 57.

    At 10:19am on 25 Apr 2010, Andy wrote:
    Most of the people in the rich list started with nothing and built up their fortune by hard work (and maybe a bit of luck). How many people in this country now rely on these people for employment?

    ..........................................................

    Looking through the list very few people in europe rely on these people for employment most of them have either made their money in non EU countrys or come from wealthy familys

  • Comment number 58.

    The rich don't care a jot about people who don't have very much, so why should we care about them?

    They live in a different world to the rest of us and will always make fortunes out of the sweat of the rest of us, regardless of the prevailing economic conditions.

    To me they do not exist in my world, and I wouldn't care if they lost everything or doubled their fortunes.

  • Comment number 59.

    When a cube of ice melts, the liquid flows somewhere. All the monies people have been losing did not just disappear into thin air. It somehow found its way into the hands of these people. It's no magic. As for economic recovery, this is no indication.

  • Comment number 60.

    5. At 10:02am on 25 Apr 2010, archie_f wrote:

    ......What does one person do with £22.4 billion anyway ?

    Employ a lot of people?

  • Comment number 61.

    Andy at No.8 wrote that most of the rich started with nothing and worked hard to amass their fortunes. Sorry Andy it is just not so, the majority of the wealthy amongst us inherited their wealth or perhaps in a few cases won it on the lottery, hence the concern amongst most politicians to promote increased social mobility as a justification for the stark differentials that do exist and even with increased social mobility will go on existing. Furthermore Andy, hard work on it's own never made anybody rich, in addition you need luck, contacts, face, frequently a lack of conscience or to be born in the right bed. If hard work made people rich there would a lot millionaire miners, sewer workers and farm labourers (all essential workers to our welfare) around the world; in fact one of the biggest incentives to amass a fortune is the desire to avoid the really hard graft that puts blisters on your hands and creaks in your back.

  • Comment number 62.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 63.

    Will the exchequer see a boost to their income as a result of this, I doubt it. What any other sucker, sorry taxpayer, would have to pay on this collective capital gain of around £100bn is about £20bn. But £20bn will buy an army of professional tax dodgers.

    Attached to the rich list entries should be an indication of how much tax these privileged individuals paid. After all if we are to believe that their wealth trickles down, then we must also accept that their wealth is ultimately made from consumer spending. And consumers, in the main, are spending taxed income because they have no choice. Wealth should confer responsibility, and that extends beyond attending a few charity galas.

    'The rich' do not to my knowledge work particularly hard, or have particularly stressful lives. Whatever they tell themselves, or us. What they do have, from looking at this commentary, is an army of sycophants and wannabes happy to fight their corner.
    Nobody needs to acumulate £22bn of what is in reality a part of the common pot. If someone who does cannot be persuaded to use a part of it for the common good, then thank goodness we have taxation. Let's tighten up the loopholes and at least get the super rich paying on a percentage par with the PAYE majority.

  • Comment number 64.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 65.

    HYS Question about the annual famous Sunday Times Rich List?

    This HYS blog question mentions Lakshmi Mittal - did quick mixed net search. It reveals his family have been in steel, in India, since the 1970s and Mr Mittal is a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs? So a mixed picture on a very wide time-line?

    It's still very rare for individuals to become 'personally wealthy' from a creative, useful, legal or tangible business product/service IN A GENERATION in the UK, perhaps?

    Let's hope the best of HYS bloggers will fill in the 'gaps' of the very LUCRATIVE 'occupations' not mentioned, but should be vented?! ANY SUGGESTIONS?

  • Comment number 66.

    Get real the only people who benefit are those with the money.
    It makes no difference to the man in the street whatsoever.

  • Comment number 67.

    I wonder what Mr. Mittal & Mr. Abramovich do (if any) for charity.

    I've never seen their names mentioned as charity donners like you hear about Buffet & Gates.

    Gentlemen, time to give something back, don't you think ?

  • Comment number 68.

    And we have people like Rose at M & S who are making more money complaining because Labour want to introduce the N.I. rise. Have these people no shame, all they are concerned about is their shares making more money, how much money does one person need?

  • Comment number 69.

    All the rich list does is expose where our money went....

  • Comment number 70.

    These people only have a talent for taking risks and accumulating money - period - and when someone makes money, by definition someone else loses money.

    These peoples fortunes are built on the talents of people who will never be rich, a lot of very clever and talented people will never be rich - I guess by modern societies standards of 'success' Einstein and most of the Nobel prize winners would be classed as failures.

    These days we are obsessed with celebrity and money, a sure sign of a sick society that is rapidly going into decline.

  • Comment number 71.

    So...prices kept going up, taxes kept going up, everything cost more so the public all got poorer and the rich got richer...

    ...and the surprise is...?

    I don't begrudge anyone making their fortune, except when it comes at the cost of the paying public's homes and livelihoods. These people made a shedload more money, why aren't job numbers going up to balance the money back into the economy?

  • Comment number 72.

    The top fraction of a per cent of the countries richest amasing more wealth is no indicator of the financial position of the majority of the country.

    It could be that they have gained more wealth by good business and job creation or it could be they have gained more wealth by trampling on the little people and throwing them out of work.

  • Comment number 73.

    The rich stay wealthy because of their investments in property and in commodities that are basically unaffected by economic downswings. They have learned not to place money in the stock market unless they have knowledge on a stock which is not available to the rest of the people. They have also learned NEVER to place their wealth in any bank as they are aware that the banks are victims of depressions and recessions.

    They are also knowledgeable that the Federal Reserve Bank and the Central Bank are privately owned and actually cause the recessions in the first place.

    That is why the Federal Reserve Bank and the Central Bank MUST be abolished at ALL costs. For more on this, please go to the following web site:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjGy9gjcoIo&feature=related

    You will get angry, I assure you.

  • Comment number 74.

    The fact that these people got richer just points to the 'heads we win, tails you lose' law that exists in the rich peoples world, whatever the economic climate (which they control anyway).

    99% of rich people (except lottery winners) started off life in a privileged world and inherited wealth anyway, these people live in a different world to the rest of us - they are not 'better' than anyone, they just have money.

    If wealth came from hard work, a lot more people would be rich. It is the privileged start in life, and in a few cases just being in the right place at the right time that makes the difference - If you read Bill Gates story he just happened to be around when the guy who wrote software (sorry, code)for IBM let them down and was able to step in, otherwise except for a happy accident at a split second in time we may never have heard of Bill or Microsoft.

  • Comment number 75.

    It's a sad reflection upon Labour that under it's governance that the gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably!

  • Comment number 76.

    If you want a continuing concentration of wealth in fewer hands at the expense of those at the bottom of the heap, you know who to vote for.

  • Comment number 77.

    This day and age do we really need stupid articles talking about who has the most zero's after their bank balance. In the twenty first century when more people are well off, than we were the most of the last century, we don't give a damn as we have our own comfortable lives and riches. The excess that these articles talk about only impress those with shallow outlook on life and are so weak that only vast amounts of money help them pretend that they are more worthy than the rest of us. So they would be better of printing them in the VIZ if that still exists as that was about jokes and fantasy.

  • Comment number 78.

    As the Guardian journalist Will Hutton said, we should not celebrate these individuals, but be horrified by their existence. Admittedly, some of the individuals on the rich list have acquired their wealth by developing a business or company that has created significant benefits for a lot of people around the world, and these individuals have also contributed to charitable causes, causes that have actually had an impact in improving the conditions of disadvantaged people around the world. So, perhaps it's unfair to say we should be show disgust at all of these men.

    However, I certainly will show disdain towards those who make their wealth through simply manipulating money. Moreover, as a British Indian living in England, I find Mittal's presence quite unsettling. Here is a man who is obscenely rich, in a country which where a significant percentage of the population live in poverty, literacy rates in some states are shocking and where certain sociological factors prevent social mobility. His presence on the list is an indictment of the vast inequality that exists in Indian society. I must admit to having a certain loathing of some of these Indian businessmen.

    Another example is Ratan Tata (although not on the list), who protected the corporate criminal Anderson from facing charges for the Bhopal tragedy. Moreover, his TATA group owns Corus, the steel manufacturing company that has been mothballed, leading to severe social and economic hardship in the North East. The fact that these Indian businessmen completely forget their roots, and behave in such a totally self interested way is, for me, morally abhorrent.

    Of course, Indian businessmen are not the only ones who behave like this for sure (in fact some will argue all businessmen do), but their actions do certainly stand out. They certainly should do more to help both India and other charitable causes they believe in. This is not because I believe they owe India anything, but I believe that any individual who is extremely wealthy and comes from a very poor country should try to help his fellow countrymen, not by relocating business to India for the sake of it, or by splashing money at random charities, but by trying to create projects and initiatives that can help towards educating the millions of Indians who do not receive it, and being kept in the cycle of poverty because of it.

  • Comment number 79.

    No it doesn't mean the economy is recovering, it means the exact opposite. These wealthy types have a responsibility to encourage economic recovery. They are only too happy to reep the benefits in a strong ecoonomy but a soon as we need them to invest in the economy during a down turn they go all insular with thier cash. Being rich has its resposibilities and if they fail to live up to them they should have their enormous wealth taxed very heavily and given to others more generous with thier investments.

  • Comment number 80.

    #67, to be fair Mittal has contributed a bit to charity. According to Wikipedia:

    For Comic Relief 2007, he matched the money raised (~£1 million) on the celebrity special BBC programme, The Apprentice.

    Also, apparently his company ArcelorMittal "operates the ArcelorMittal Foundation, which provides support to many different community projects around the world in the countries where ArcelorMittal operates."

    And his son Aditya Mittal, with his wife, give a £15 million donation to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was a good gesture.

    However, Mittal snr should be doing more, and while his son may realise the importance of social responsibility and giving back to the world, Laksmi Mittal, judging by his actions, hasn't. Moreover, former workers at one of his steel making plants accused him of using "slave labour" and there was also an episode of environmental damage. Engels described the shocking conditions of the working class workers in factories in his magnus opus. We like to see ourselves as much more civilised and morally responsible these days, but with people like Mittal, who seems to believe in the primacy of profits over all else, you wonder whether he, and some other businessmen, have really moved on?

    Moreover, I should stress that Mittal's behaviour, nor the morally bankrupt behaviour of Tata to close the steel-making plant in Redcar, should not be seen as a reflection of Indian attitudes, or as an indictment of Indian society or principles. I admit that back home there is a worrying trend towards consumerism and self interested materialism, but I know many Indians who abhor this type of behaviour, and also feel strongly that making a difference in the world through your work is much more important that just simply making money though the manipulation of stocks or by playing financial markets. Furthermore, I know a lot of British born Indians who supported the Redcar protesters completely, me being on of them. The fight we have on our hands is global, and it shouldn't boil down to nationality or jingoism, but about fairness and equality, where everyone is able to get their rewards for the work they do, where workers are not at the mercy of the free market, and where love, compassion, cooperation is rewarded more than selfishness, individualism and excess ambition.

  • Comment number 81.

    And just a few statistics appraising economic inequality in the UK. Between 1977 and 2007, the post tax and benefits share of national income of the bottom 40 percent of households fell from 23% to 17%, while the share of the top 20 grew from 37% to 44%.

    The post-tax Gini coefficient (a ratio used to measure economic inequality) rove from 0.29 in 1979 to 0.40 in 1990. So much for Thatcher/Reagen's trickle down theory. In fact, the word theory shouldn't really be attached to this idea, because it was pure dogma, and had no intellectual coherent basis. It was merely a convenient idea to believe in, as it can be used to approve of laissez faire policies, used to promote private enterprise, lower corporation taxes and fuel inequality, but the government can claim that it doesn't have to pursue policies to reduce the subsequent rise in inequality, because the wealth will eventually "trickle down" to the poorer people in society.

    Over 20 years later, people are still waiting to feel the tangible effects of so called trickle down. In fact, they aren't waiting anymore, because they've realised it was all a con, perpetuated by the elite, to maintain the cycle of privelige and inequality that global turbo-charged capitalism is thrives on.

  • Comment number 82.

    does the rich list boost spell recovery? - only if you're on it.

    many of us at the bottom of the ladder are still suffering from the 'belt tightening' exercises which were common last year - unfortunately my wage has not risen 30% the way that much of the rich list has - probably coz the man at the top of my ladder sets my (and his own) wage rise.

  • Comment number 83.

    Such huge wealth of a few individuals is in my opinion only worthy of accessing how scandelous human behaviour is.

    Politicians basically use greed of wealth to drive us forward.

    The rich list is basically a whos who of muppets.

  • Comment number 84.

    Remember the following, people:

    "The Federal Reserve system virtually controls the Nation's monetary system, yet it is accountable to no one. It has no budget, it is subject to no audit, and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise its operations."

    The Federal Reserve system is a giant PONZI scheme. It is an unsustainable system which will ruin this country and EVERY country where it is located or has business relations. What is a Ponzi scheme?

    According to Wikipedia, a "Ponzi" scheme is:

    "A fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

    The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases."

    Remember, NO one in the U.S. Government, OR the Government of Great Britain has EVER been able to audit the Federal Reserve or the Central Bank yet, these two Banks (really the same bank) operate in a manner that will eventually make it possible for them to own EVERY piece of property on the face of the earth because of their fractional lending practises.

    How can you stop this from occurring? By being knowledgeable on the subject and by getting involved and be willing to write to your members of Government.

    How can YOU educate yourself? By going to the following web site:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7904108802539774428

    Then, after you do, write to your politicians and complain. Nothing will get done if you do nothing.

  • Comment number 85.

    This neither proves the economic recovery is working or not. What it does prove is that the gulf between the very rich and those less fortunate is growing at an unacceptable level. At some point in time this will have to be addressed or there will be civil unrest, just as there were in the inner cities of the eighties.

    We still have the morally bankrupt system where a multi millionaire sitting in his London office boasts that he pays less tax than the woman on minimum pay cleaning his office, This was shown on panorama some time ago. A morally bankrupt country!

  • Comment number 86.

    Have to strongly agree and support post #78 @ 3:03pm on 25 April - 'PasstheParcel.'

    In addition, so little has changed - it's just been moved somewhere else in the world in a different century?

    An enormous amount of wealth, for the few STILL (even in the 21st Century), has been achieved by those whose ancestors despised (rightly) exploitation in the 19th Century?

    Actually, any ghost of a hard-working person from Britain's 18th/19th century industrial hell-holes would sympathise with so many other workers across the world today? Britain's history was not just about merchants, but the peasants in Britain who lived and died in mills, factories and foundries? Plus, malnutrition, untreated injuries and disease caused by slums and no sanitation!

    Well, we never read that suffering in the history books of Britain do we?

  • Comment number 87.

    How about the poverty?

  • Comment number 88.

    Goldman Sachs made quite a profit off the tax payers as they were partly the cause of the economic collapse. When I clicked on to the B.B.C. website last night, the first thing that I noticed was this:

    "Goldman Sachs executives boasted about the money the bank made while the US housing was collapsing, emails show"

    Goldman Sachs is part owner of the Federal Reserve. The other owners of the Federal Reserve are as follows:

    #1). Rothschild Bank. (London, England)

    #2). Warburg Bank. (Hamburg, Germany)

    #3). Rothschild Bank. (Berlin, Germany)

    #4). Lehman Brothers. (New York, New York)

    #5). Lazard Brothers. (Paris, France)

    #6). Kuhn Loeb Bank. (New York, New York)

    #7). Israel Moses Seif. (Italy)

    #8). Goldman Sachs. (New York, New York)

    #9). Warburg Bank. (Amsterdam, Holland)

    #10). Chase Manhattan Bank. (New York, New York)

    The owners of these institutions are DIRECTLY responsible for the recent economic chaos. It is time to abolish the Federal Reserve before they bring down the entire country through their fractional lending practices.

    To learn more about why it is SO important to get rid of this institution, please go to this website:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjGy9gjcoIo&feature=related

  • Comment number 89.

    no, it just means that the rich get extra money whatever happens.

    poor things, if we dont give it to them, they will cry.

  • Comment number 90.

    "47. At 12:46pm on 25 Apr 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    "The rich list proves they dont' pay enough tax " in the U.K."

    mmm Most of these peoples assets are paper assets, and hence unless sold there is NO actual money to tax them on.

    I know nothing about you if you have owned a house for the last ten years it will have doubled if not trebbled in value, probably its increase in value is more than the average wage, in fact most home earniers if you take into account the hidden "earnings" from their property should be top ratre tax payers. Are you happy to pay income tax in this paper increase in value of your property?

  • Comment number 91.

    47. At 12:46pm on 25 Apr 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:

    "The rich list proves they dont' pay enough tax in the U.K."

    I see the Politics of Envy is alive and well in the UK!

    Given that the "wealthy" pay a higher percentage of their income in taxation but use less of the services "provided" by government, how much should they pay?
    Government statistics indicate that some 70% of tax revenues comes from the wealthiest 5% of the population (individuals and corporations), how much more should they pay?
    If the "wealthy" take advantage of "tax loopholes", whose fault is that, the person taking advantage of an inadequate law, or the government for formulating an inadequate law?
    Who decides what constitutes "obscene wealth"?
    How much is "enough money to live on" and who decides that level?
    When, as a nation did we decide to split the population into two diametrically opposed groups, the "filthy rich" and the "downtrodden poor"?
    Why are so many people in the UK so envious of somebody else's success?
    Why is there this notion that if somebody generates wealth or achieves a higher than average income that they must have done it by "ripping everybody off", I believe one term I read on an earlier post cited "pernicious advertising", exactly what is that?
    Why is it "fair" or "just" to take from someone who works hard and takes risks and give it to someone who doesn't?
    I have asked this many times but never got an answer, can someone please explain using logical arguments, not arguments based upon emotion the terms "fair", "social equality" and "social justice".


    I have spent most of my working life using the skills and experience I accrued either building companies for others or starting, building and selling my own successful businesses. Along the way I have been able to provide employment and opportunities for thousands of people, as well as providing the government with revenue by way of taxation that provided benefits to thousands more. I made a conscious decision to sacrifice certain aspects of a "normal life" to achieve a level of self reliance. While my "peers" spent their lives doing other things, I worked and I studied so that my family and I had choices in life. When my employees went home at 5.00PM, I stayed on and worked, often times completing orders so that we could keep delivery promises to our customers. If my business failed I was the one that took the hit. If there wasn't enough cash available, I was the one that went without a paycheck and it was my mortgage that wasn't paid, my employees were always paid before I was. If my business was successful I paid more in taxes. Because I took the time to study and learn about the markets I was able to invest in other companies and ventures. If those were successful I invested in others, if they were unsuccessful I was the one that lost money. If I sold the company that I had taken the financial risk on and/or put the sweat into building, an extremely large proportion of the "profit" was taken by the government.

    The rich that so many of you like to deride will have put in more effort, taken more risks and worked a darn sight harder than those not in that position. Yes, it does become easier to make money when you have money, wealth will always beget wealth but with that growth in wealth there is also always opportunity and employment for others. It is all a matter of degree. You work you get paid, apart from taxation where the government give you no choice in the matter, everything else that you decide to spend your money on is down to to a decision you make or have made. You decide whether you are going to be an employee or whether you are going to take a risk in yourself and start a business, nobody forces you to work for any particular employer. Nobody stops you from investing in yourself or others.

    Perhaps if people looked less to the government to improve their lives, and instead applied themselves, relied more upon their own instincts and talents, this would be a much happier society and certainly one less riven with angst and envy.

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    Adrian Pierce Rogers:

    “When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    Abraham Lincoln:

    "Property is the fruit of labor...property is desirable...is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."



  • Comment number 92.

    I know this is banned before I write it, it contains the truth! Maybe three out of the top ten of those mentioned in the BBC article are actually British, the rest are all non-doms! Facts upset, but are still facts! Nu-lab hates non-doms, like Ashcroft, yet this list can have the freedom of anything, and have had it, so long as I keep my ministerial job! I can’t do anything else! And you have been a Nu-Lab donor!

  • Comment number 93.

    This list does not reflect cash in the bank, it is wealth held in land, property, shares etc.

    To the person who said the wealth held by HM the Queen and the Duke of Westminster was 'our' money, absolute rubbish.

    Why is it so difficult for people to read the facts instead of jumping to the wrong conclusion. However, the majority of comments show just how alive envy and class hatred really is in the UK.

  • Comment number 94.

    I suggest the lefties move to a socialist paradise like Chavez has created. Have fun in the half-stocked shops and the rationing of electricity he's introduced.
    ===========================================================================

    I see these types of comments a lot, and they are usually made by the neoliberal apologists who get very uncomfortable when the effects of modern financial capitalism are described or are laid bare for all to see.

    You mention, sarcastically, the "socialist" paradise of Chavez. I don't know much about Chavez, but deriding Socialism and linking it with half stocked shops and electricity rationing shows how the right wing propaganda media has convinced a lot of people of the so called dangers of socialism. In reality, what you describe could, possibly reflect life in the former USSR at times, and they had a communist political system, and there's a difference between communism and socialism, and a socialist economic system need not lead to shortages and surpluses.

    Countries like Cuba and Venezuela are regularly derided as being failed states, where Socialism has destroyed the entrepreneurial spirit, and where queues regularly form, and where opposition is regularly suppressed. When, in reality, the socialist governments that have been elected in South America recently have, for the most part, been democratically elected, and the right wing opposition in these countries are normally attempts to overthrow the democratically elected governments. Moreover, there is a bit of hypocrisy from some Western governments (especially the USA), who are so concerned about so called political authoritarianism in Cuba, yet turned a blind eye when ultra free market dictator Pinochet was running Chile. There is no doubt that some South American governments may engage in suppression of free speech, but that is to do with the personalities of the men in charge, rather than anything inherently authoritarian about socialism. Indeed, a lot of socialist politicians adhere to democratic socialism, not exactly a dogmatic ideology (unlike extreme free market capitalism)

    Moreover, if you look at these socialist countries, you will see a lot of positive aspects of their society that a lot of Western countries would like to emulate. If we look at Cuba, they have a very educated population, a high quality health care service, and score highly on several environmental standard indices. Moreover, like many socialist governments, they strongly value doctors, engineers, scientists and other professions that contribute positively to both society and will help create wealth for the economy, that they government will then distribute in an egalitarian manner, so that everyone can benefit from the wealth of the country, not just the elite.

    The same situation exists with Venezuela, and its crude oil exports that bring in a lot of wealth to the country. Unlike some of the ultra capitalist countries in the Middle East, Chavez, for all his faults, has been able to equitably distribute the wealth generated from their natural resources, unlike the Middle eastern countries, who have extremely unequal societies. Chavez, as a socialist, has realised that that the natural resources of his country belong to everyone in the country, not private investors, and therefore everyone should benefit from the wealth it generates.

    I've read comments on this thread implicitly suggested that being rich equals success. In the socialist countries, this sort of dogma has been rightly challenged. This is why, in countries like Cuba and the former USSR (for all its many faults) greatly valued the scientists and engineers and doctors who contributed to the health of the society and towards their economy. These individuals were subsequently well rewarded for their work, because they were making a positive contribution to the welfare of society and towards the economy as a whole. This is unlike some Western countries, where some people strike it rich by simply manipulating money, contributing nothing to society and nothing towards achieving national economic goals. Moreover, with the highly educated workforce in socialist countries like Cuba, they have the skills to either work in Cuba, or go abroad for work.

    The bottom line is these socialist countries invest in their people, giving them the means, skills and ability to make a good life for themselves, earn sufficient money to look after themselves, their families and achieve a good standard of living, so they don't need to worry about paying the bills and taxes, and can instead look forward to pursuing whatever intellectual or social pursuits they like, unfettered by monetary concerns.

    Some people will counter these points by mentioning how we in the West have greater choice in our consumption of goods and services. That may be true, but in many of the socialist countries (especially in South America), people live within their means, and with the lower cost of living and the different mindset of the people there, the majority of the population have no need for the luxury goods that some in the West feel are imperative to achieve happiness.

    Yes, people in USA and Europe do have a larger choice in all likelihood, but I don't think people in Cuba particularly care about that. They have sufficient choice in their shops, and certainly enough of the necessity goods like food, water, electricity to enjoy a good standard of living. They have a lesser need for the excessive luxury goods that we in the West crave for. In fact, recent studies have shown that, beyond a certain income, extra consumption actually makes people less happy. This all comes back to the Veblen concept of "conspicuous consumption". We in the West (and certain parts of the East as well like India) are consuming for the sake of it, to "keep up with the Joneses" so to speak, and as a way of displaying social status, rather than through any great need for the things we buy. It's a sad situation, and a lifestyle that is neither rational nor sustainable, in a world with finite resources (another explanation why countries like Cuba score so well on environmental indices)

    Ultimately, I am not saying Socialism is perfect, neither is everything about capitalism bad (and don't think I dislike Western countries, quite the contrary, living in England I realise with a fantastic country this is), but I think we have gone too far in the direction of free markets. The media will keep peddling the propaganda that socialism will lead to protests in the streets, shortages of goods/services and authoritarianism. However, if we open our eyes, we will realise that socialism has a lot to offer us. Note how I do not advocate a Soviet planned economy by any means. Nevertheless, I believe we need a return of post WW2 social democratic/democratic socialist values, where the poor are looked after, where social mobility is encouraged, where the environment is treated with respect, where inequality is fought, and most importantly of all, where the population are given encouragement to make the most of their potential, and are given freedom to get what they want out of life, so that everyone can attain a good, comfortable standard of living, in a large, community driven society based on cooperation rather than competition.

  • Comment number 95.

    In a recession "cash is king". Credit is difficult to come by, so anyone with cash in their hands can make even more profit than usual by investing it or lending it to the less fortunate. When David Cameron, referring to recovering from the recession, says that we are in this together, he is right. But the wealthy are in it to make a lot more money, while small business men and others who need to borrow are in it to be sucked dry.

  • Comment number 96.

    No, the fact that these odious lists exist shows that the majority are getting poorer.

  • Comment number 97.

    Are we talking about the Canary Warf Mafia.? If our economy is on the 'Up' The spivs and drones are up to their old tricks again At our expence I suspect! Top people indeed!
    cyclops

  • Comment number 98.

    The obsession by politicians of taxing the wealthy will mean that they move abroad and invest more and make profits abroad. Here the ordinary taxpayers will have to keep benefit claimants.

  • Comment number 99.

    lynn from sussex wrote

    Why is it so difficult for people to read the facts instead of jumping to the wrong conclusion. However, the majority of comments show just how alive envy and class hatred really is in the UK.

    I thought we lived in a classless society now? At least that is what many in the mainstream political parties tell us.

    I for one am not envious of anyone rich, wealthy or mega wealthy. What I do object to is when those on low earnings are expected to bear the brunt of keeping the rich very rich!


    I remember many years ago two multi millionaire not happy with their wealth and broke the law to make more money by insider dealing during the distillers / guinness take over, one when jailed was released early from prison as he had dementia, miraculously he was cured shortly after release. Amazing what wealth can do!

    I would refer you to my earlier comment regarding tax, is it right that a cleaner on minimum pay pays more tax than her multi millionare employer? That is not envy, it is a recognition of injustice.

    This country is morally bankrupt in a great many ways, envy may well be one way, perhaps averice is just as great a wrong.

  • Comment number 100.

    99. You are missing the point. The class system is alive and well as can be seen by the majority of the comments.

    The Tories are perceived as rich 'toffs' whereas Labour is still run by the 'working man' It doesn't take much to discover that most of Labour's top brass had just a privileged background and education as some of the Tories.

    Some of the people on the list have inherited wealth, some have worked damned hard for it, good luck to them.

    My original point was to say that the list is not compiled according to money in the bank but the value of other assets and this is what most commenters appear to have missed.

 

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