The year already looks set to be dominated by concerns about the cost of living. The price of heating your home, feeding your family and other living expenses is already rocketing.
So it was startling to learn that some people have pockets deep enough to pay $2 million for a single bottle of whiskey.
It’s a jarring reminder of what wealth inequality looks like. This is in the midst of a pandemic in which the wealthy have seen their riches grow, while those with less have struggled.
Our Executive Director, Robert Palmer, was in the Guardian and the Financial Times this week commenting on new government figures on wealth. Analysis from the Office for National Statistics shows that wealth inequality is entrenched in this country.
It’s highly likely that the official statistics underestimate the true level of inequality, as academics Arun Advani and Hannah Tarrant pointed out.
Over the last thirty years, the level of wealth in this country has ballooned. At the same time taxes on wealth have barely budged.
This is why Tax Justice UK will continue to press for wealth tax reform during 2022.
The ongoing cost of living crisis is also why we joined with 27 organisations to urge the government to respond to the massive increase in energy bills. In a joint letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor, we called for emergency funding for the most vulnerable, funded in part by a windfall tax on the fossil fuel industry. The organisations involved include Greenpeace, Age-UK and Save the Children.
At Tax Justice UK we have lots of other exciting plans for this year. We will continue to be a loud voice calling for tax justice. We hope you can join us in this.