So imagine Guido’s surprise when he read that the first two years of the government’s term in office “were dire for poor children” according to the bleeding hearts at the Child Poverty Action Group. It gets worse, according to this week’s New Statesmen. The Super-Rich are ‘Richer under Labour’ and have seen their wealth increase dramatically since 1997, leaving the gap between rich and poor wider than it has been since the 1930s.
According to the Brownite New Statesman’s Bling-Bling List, the fortunes of most of Britain’s richest people have doubled or more under Tony Blair’s administration. Amongst the many examples are Tony’s very own indecent proposer, Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone (up £2.05bn to £2.3bn). So the million pound cheque he wrote Labour would not have been missed if he had not got it back. Tony Atkinson of Oxford University, an expert on inequality, says that the top 1% of the population – about 600,000 people – now receive a larger proportion of the UK’s income than at any time since the 1930s.
The Office for National Statistics reports that this group doubled their wealth to £797 billion in Labour’s first six years in office, increasing their share of the national wealth from 20% to 23%. Meanwhile the share of the poorest 50% declined from 10% under Thatcher to 5% under Tony. The top fifth on the income scale pay a smaller proportion of their income in tax (34%) than the bottom fifth (42%).
Bring Back Thatcher! At least she improved the lot of the poor…