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.”
Beavis Morgan – Advisers to Britain’s high net worth individuals
Our specialist team at Beavis Morgan offers a number of years’ experience in helping high net worth individuals maintain their capital value and manage their income levels, to assist in continuing to meet your lifestyle goals. We proactively explore the intricacies of the tax legislation, making sure that all reliefs available to you are utilised and that your interests are safeguarded. We can also assist you with medium and longer-term financial planning to ensure that you, your family, and ultimately future generations of your family, will benefit from your wealth in accordance with your wishes.
We also provide full range of business and tax advisory services, including image rights planning, to the sports sector – sports clubs, individuals, service and management companies, event organisers, governing bodies and a range of other sporting organisations.
In turn, if you are concerned about a tax enquiry into your affairs, worried that you may have possibly under-declared or, worse still, are you already under enquiry, our tax specialists, some of whom are former HMRC Inspector of Taxes, are well versed in dealing with all types of tax issues. We are also readily available to oversee HMRC disputes on your behalf, as well as to represent clients in appeal proceedings before the Tax Tribunal. In some situations, we can also offer professional fee protection insurance, so the costs are covered in whole or in part.
For more information and to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.