Friday, 21 May, 2021

In the middle of the global pandemic, the Sunday Times Rich List has revealed that the number of UK billionaires has increased by 24 to 171. Interestingly, this year the Sunday Times has decided to publish the richest 250, instead of the richest 1,000, as in previous years.  

Although the richest 1,000 saw their wealth drop from £771bn (2019) to £742bn (2020), as we have seen, the number of billionaires has increased. In the five years from 2014 to 2019, the richest 1,000 increased their wealth by £253bn. 

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust said:

“Ask yourself why the Sunday Times Rich List has moved from publishing the wealth of the UK’s richest 1,000, who held a staggering £742 billion last year, to the richest 250, who hold a mere £597 billion? Worshipping at the shrine of wealth at any time is bad but celebrating excessive wealth during a pandemic is like holding a feast in a foodbank. 

“We need to ask how these people are making their wealth and who is really paying the price? Do we really want to fawn over riches, when we live in such an unequal society where children go hungry, our health service is on its knees and many live week to week in precarious jobs?”

Notes for editors:

For interviews or further comment from Dr Wanda Wyporska, please call 07837 909 418 or email wanda.wyporska@equalitytrust.org.uk

The Equality Trust is the national charity that campaigns to improve quality of life in the UK by reducing economic and social inequality. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world and evidence shows that in countries with higher levels of inequality, we see higher rates of mental and physical ill health, higher rates of imprisonment and violent crime, worse educational outcomes and lower levels of trust. Inequality is not inevitable.