London, Sep 14 (IANS) Britain has today become one of the most unequally developed countries as the richest one per cent of its population owns 20 times more than the poorest 20 per cent, says a charity urging the British government to tackle the issue.
The richest 10 per cent of the British population owns 54 per cent of the country’s total wealth with the top 1 per cent holding 23 per cent, while nearly 13 million people share just 0.8 per cent of the country’s wealth, Xinhua news agency cited Oxford-based Oxfam, an international confederation of charitable organisations focused on the alleviation of global poverty, as saying in a briefing note on Tuesday.
The anti-poverty charity’s report, based on data from Zurich-headquartered financial company Credit Suisse, warned that around 400,000 more British households could be living in poverty by 2030 unless the government takes action to diminish the gap.
In the release, Oxfam suggested a plan to shrink the gap, including bringing in greater representation on company boards, capping high salaries with pay ratios and curbing excessive pay, and dealing with tax loopholes.
“Addressing the practices of unscrupulous business needs to be a central part of the government’s plans to even up the economy,” said Rachael Orr, head of Oxfam’s Britain programme, calling upon British Prime Minister Theresa May to include relevant plans in her conference speech.
In a speech in July, May referred to the necessity to review the country’s economy so that more people are able to improve their own well-being. She also expressed criticism of irresponsible business practices.