‘The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year’ – so says the compiler of this year’s data on the wealth of the richest in our society.
It turns out they have INCREASED their wealth over this last year by a staggering 15.4%.
‘I’ve never seen such a phenomenal rise.’
The recovery, such as it is, is clearly opening up inequality at an alarming rate in Britain.
The Office of National Statistics showed last week that Britain’s richest 1% now have as much wealth as the bottom 55%.
The ONS also showed that wealth was rising 5x faster in the SE than in the rest of the country. The NE’s wealth actually dropped – and the northern regions as a whole are falling even further behind.
Against this background, Ed Miliband has re-asserted Labour values. He has committed the next Labour government to increase the minimum wage significantly.
“In 1997, a Labour government took action, with one of the proudest achievements of any British government: it introduced the National Minimum Wage and saved people from a level of poverty pay that shamed our country.
“It was controversial at the time. The Tories warned it would destroy millions of jobs. But Labour, working with British business, helped change lives and our economy for the better.
“It is what our Labour Party is all about. But that was the 1990s. Today the extremes of exploitation have been eliminated, but the problem of low pay has only grown. As I have crossed the country in the past three weeks of this election campaign, I have met so many people working hour after hour, often doing two jobs, just to make ends meet. People who are anxious about whether they’ll be able to cover their bills, their rent or their mortgage, people who don’t have time to spend with their family because they are working all the hours that God sends.
“Britain is still one of the lowest paid countries among the world’s advanced economies. So we have to go further, we have to write the next chapter in the history of Labour’s battle to make work pay.
“It is time to raise our sights again because Britain can do better than this. The next Labour government will restore the link between hard work and building a decent life for your family.
“A Labour government will establish a clear link between the level of the minimum wage and the scale of wages paid to other workers in our economy. We will say workers on the minimum wage must never be left behind because those who work hard to create our nation’s wealth should share in it.
“And by helping to make work pay for millions we will chart a new course for Labour too, changing our economy to make work pay and tackle the cost of failure in our social security system too.
“Just as when the last Labour government created the National Minimum Wage, the next Labour government will do this in partnership with business once again, allowing employers the certainty they need to plan ahead.
I will set out the precise ambition Labour will propose closer to the election. But today I want to welcome this central recommendation of Alan Buckle’s report and state plainly that, under the next Labour government, hardworking Britain will be better off.”
Labour’s vision of a fairer Britain is beginning to take shape.
You’ll be hearing much more about it between now and May 2015.
But you can do something about it immediately – by Voting Labour in the elections on Thursday, May 22 – and sending a message that this is the sort of society you want Britain to be.