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< Back to all posts 07 January 2022

New figures show wealth inequality was entrenched before covid


New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that wealth inequality was entrenched for more than a decade before the pandemic hit. The analysis shows that wealth inequality is significantly higher than income inequality.

The ONS statistical release “ Total wealth in Great Britain: April 2018 to March 2020” was published today.

Even before the pandemic it was clear that wealth inequality was entrenched. Since covid hit the wealthy have seen their riches grow, while those with less have struggled.

If taxes have to rise it should be those with the most assets who pay. The Chancellor could start by equalising capital gains with income tax, tackling tax avoidance and ending tax loopholes.

Tax Justice UK has found massive public support for closing tax loopholes used by the wealthy and clamping down on tax dodging. ​

The official figures underestimate wealth inequality in the UK. Academics at the University of Warwick and LSE have pointed out that the ONS figures don’t include business wealth and that the very wealthy are less likely to respond to the survey that the figures are based on. According to the analysis by Arun Advani and Hannah Tarrant the ONS under-reports total wealth by 8%. This means that wealth inequality is higher than official estimates.