Wealth gap grows as Yorkshire falls further behind the South

Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire
Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire
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YORKSHIRE comes out poorly in a survey of the nation’s wealth by the Office of National Statistics which shows the gulf between the haves and the have-nots and the North-South divide are both widening.

Between 2012 and 2014, the richest 10 per cent of households owned 45 per cent of the country’s wealth, a total of almost £5 trillion in assets. By contrast, the poorest 10 per cent own assets of just £5.7 million.

The gap of more than £4.9 trillion is £1.2 trillion higher than in the period 2006 to 2008, the last time the Office of National Statistics conducted its survey.

The survey also shows that from 2012-2014, six per cent of households in the Yorkshire and Humber region held wealth of at least £1.05 million compared to 22 per cent of households in the South East and 18 per cent in London.

Every household in the top 10 per cent had a total wealth of at least £1.05 million. Those in the bottom 10 per cent had £12,600 or less.

The news comes in the same week that Yorkshire was revealed to be the second-biggest growth rate for property millionaires. The richest 10 per cent of households have around 43 per cent of their wealth invested in property, while only five per cent is made up by physical possessions such as valuable household items.

The poorest 10 per cent have a third of their wealth in physical possessions and 29 per cent in property.

Total household wealth in the UK in 2012-14 was £11.1 trillion, up 18 per cent on the previous period of 2010-12. Much of this rise was due to the increase in private pension wealth.

Politicians and union leaders have blasted the figures with

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury, describing them as “damning.”

“This Tory Government has done nothing substantive to tackle the growing problem of wealth inequality in our country,” she said.

“By cutting inheritance tax for a wealthy few at the same time as cutting Universal Credit for working families they are only making matters worse.

“The Chancellor should spend some time this Christmas thinking about the growing wealth gap he has presided over and how to correct this in 2016. Otherwise people will just think this report’s damning figures are music to his ears.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The economy is paying people too little for hard work, and too much just for sitting on wealth. It is making Britain more and more unequal, with those who are already rich moving even further ahead of the typical family.

“The Government must reshape the economy to address the UK’s over-reliance on property and financial investments. Future growth must be built on the firm foundation of higher wages in both the public and private sectors, and investment in skills and industry.”