The combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people in the UK rose 4.7 per cent last year, surpassing a previous high set before the 2008 financial crisis. The result is a new global elite, living lives of luxury and privilege the rest of us can hardly fathom.
The UK’s capital has become a haven for the world’s super-rich, thanks to attractive tax laws for those who can establish an overseas "domicile". A trend towards tax cuts for high earners has also given the wealthy, wherever they reside, increased freedom to decide how their riches are allocated.
£12.7bn – The estimated worth of Lakshmi Mittal, the UK’s richest man. Sources: The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times
4.7% – Rise in the combined wealth of the richest 1000 people in the UK from 2011 to 2012. Sources: The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times
147m – The length of Topaz, the world’s largest super-yacht, as of January 2012. Source: The Financial Times
85% – Percentage of London super-prime estate (property worth over £10m) owned by overseas buyers. Source: The Independent
Secret Fears of the Super-Rich, Graeme Wood, the Atlantic, 2011
Is anyone benefiting from the wealth of the super-rich? BBC News, 2012
Even the super-rich should pay their taxes first, Mary Dejevsky, The Independent, 2012
The Charitable-Giving Divide, Judith Warner, The New York Times, 2010
Why the Rich Are Getting Richer, The New Economics Foundation, 2011
Cost of Living Extremely Well Index, Scott DeCarlo, Forbes, 2011
1914 – The remittance rule, a hangover from Britain’s colonial past is extended to “non-domiciled residents”, allowing them to avoid paying tax on overseas income.
1990s – Privatisation of Russian industry creates a class of extremely wealthy “oligarchs”.
2010 – the US Supreme Court of Appeals creates “Super-Pacs” by ruling that Political Action Committees (PACs) could accept unlimited contribution from individuals, allowing the wealthy more direct political influence.
2012 – George Osborne slashes the 50 per cent tax rate for top earners to 45 per cent.Reuse content