Entrepreneurs lead the way in this year’s Rich List
14 May 2018
The 30th Sunday Times Rich List has been published, ranking the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in the UK.
This year's list reveals the UK’s wealthiest people are now worth a combined £724 billion, up 10 per cent on last year's high of £658 billion.
The list, which includes a record number of women this year, is topped for the first time by a British-born industrialist, Jim Ratcliffe, with an estimated wealth of £21 billion.
Old money no longer rules the UK, with 94 per cent of those on this year's list being self-made, compared to a mere 43 per cent when the list was first published in 1989. This has lead the author of the report, Robert Watts, to declare that "Britain is changing".
"The aristocrats and inherited wealth have been elbowed out of the list and replaced by an army of self-made entrepreneurs,” Mr Watts says.
"Britain's rich are getting richer but the cast of Britain's 1,000 richest people is an ever-changing and increasingly diverse cast of people."
Whilst the Rich List used to be dominated by landowners, food and drink are now the largest sources of wealth.
"Today's super-rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs,” Mr Watts says. "We are seeing more people from humble backgrounds, who struggled at school or who didn't even start their businesses until middle age."
The findings have however led to calls for a prompt a rethink of tax policy to “harmonise taxation of income from wealth with income from labour.”
Grace Blakeley, from the think tank IPPR, says this should include “a crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion by increasing transparency and implementing more severe punishments for perpetrators.”
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