Richest are 30% better off!

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‘THIS situation cannot be allowed to continue,’ GMB national officer Sharon Holder told News Line yesterday in response to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List which showed that the collective wealth of the UK’s 1,000 richest people soared by 30 per cent.

The richest bourgeois increased their wealth by over £77bn to £333.5bn, the biggest annual increase in the 22-year history of the list.

The GMB’s Holder said: ‘It’s absolutely appalling that whilst most ordinary people are suffering the ill effects of the recession, the top 1,000 richest people are adding even more to their wealth.

‘It’s time to tax the rich. We agree with the TUC’s proposal to bring in a “Robin Hood” tax.

‘This is to ensure that while the richest people are accumulating profits on the backs of ordinary people, that ordinary people get to share in some of that wealth.

‘While the same employers are applying pay freezes, they are still managing to make considerable profits.’

A Community Union spokesman added: ‘Our members are trying to get through the recession as best they can, and face pay cuts and job cuts.

‘The rich list will be difficult reading for people who have been in struggle.’

The Sunday Times found that the number of billionaires rose by 10 to 53.

The London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal came top of the list for the sixth year running, more than doubling his fortune from £10.8bn in 2009 to £22.45bn.

Russian oil and industry magnate, the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, came second, adding £400m to his wealth in a year to reach £7.4bn.

In third place, the richest British-born property billionaire, the Duke of Westminster, saw his fortune rise by £250m to £6.75bn.

The remaining top ten are: 4. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, pharmaceuticals – £5.95bn, up 19 per cent from £5bn last year.

5. David and Simon Reuben, property and Internet – £5,53bn, up 121 per cent from £2.5bn.

6. Alisher Usmanov, steel and mines – £4.7bn, up 213 per cent from £1.5bn.

7. Galen and George Weston, retailing – £4.5bn, up £900m.

8. Charlene and Michel de Carvalho, inheritance, brewing and banking – £4.4bn, up 49 per cent from £2.96bn.

9. Sir Philip and Lady Green, retailing – £4.1bn, up seven per cent from £3.83bn.

10. Anil Agarwal, mining, – £4.1bn, up 583 per cent from £600m.

John Hargreaves and his family, who own the discount retailer Matalan, saw their fortune treble to £1.02bn.

Dame Mary Perkins, the driving force at Specsavers Opticians, and her husband Douglas, increased their wealth from £500m to £810m this year, now equal 73rd.

Rich List editor Ian Coxon said: ‘It’s obvious there’s been a real turnaround in the last 12 months for the richest people in Britain.

‘If you look at the top 200, the super-rich have seen the fastest rise in their fortunes.’