Britain can no longer afford to bankroll the rich


Respectable opinion is less keen on pointing out that the old certainties no longer apply. As my colleague Dan Boffey reports on the Observer’s news pages, this recession is different. Not just because of globalisation or technological change but because of the decisions of leaders who have been so captured by the financial elite that they no longer put the interests of the broad mass of people first.

Since 2010, 38,000 more high-fliers have moved into the £150,000-£500,000 wage band. Six thousand more have pocketed between £500,000 and £1m. And 8,000 more have received salaries of more than £1m. Britain can now boast that it has more people in the £1m-plus bracket than at any time since records began. Good luck to them, one might have said, if their wealth were trickling down. But barely a drop is falling. The rising tide, which once promised to lift all boats, has ebbed – and left the majority stranded.

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