Talking about the super rich feels … sticky
It’s that time of year again: when The Sunday Times unveils his Rich list of the richest people in the UK.
The 250 participants include individuals, couples, families and partnerships.
Coming at the bottom of the list; Tom Gibbon and his family, who made their fortune from the property, saw a £ 27million decline in wealth from last year, bringing it to £ 613million for 2021.
Compare this with Sir Leonard Blavatnik, who had a Increase of £ 7.2 billion wealth to 23 billion pounds ($ 32.5 billion, 26.7 billion euros) to sit first on the list – up from fourth in 2020.
His fortune comes from investing, music and the media.
In fact, looking only at the top 20, only two entrants experienced a decline in their wealth, one did not change and there was a new entry.
Which means 16 of the richest people in the UK got richer – and not just a little.
Eleven of the top 20 have amassed over £ 1 billion.
Blavatnik’s annual increase is replaced by another entrant; in fifth place, steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and his family saw a £ 7.9bn hike bringing their wealth to £ 14.7bn.
A little disgusting
Going through the rich list for interesting facts and ideas makes me realize that I really don’t care how rich these people are.
I am not impressed with this. I am not envious.
Admittedly, this could be cultural, as the British tend to avoid conversations about what they earn or the value of their property.
Don’t get me wrong, I know from experience that there are a lot of places in London where a certain demographic wants everyone to know how expensive their watch and car are.
But, luckily, I have no idea what my friends and colleagues are earning.
So why am I supposed to care who the richest people in the country are?
Between a poor place and a rich place
My unease probably also stems from the fact that these people have dramatically increased their wealth in a year that has seen such terrible losses – both personal and financial.
There will always be winners and losers from the pandemic. But to have quantified it so clearly in a rich list is… unpleasant.
I’m not able to attribute this sentiment appropriately, so anyone who can give me a review, please write it down in the comments section.
“When the government wants to entice the rich, it gives them money. When the government wants to incite the poor, it takes them away. ”
The top 10 on the rich list collectively hold £ 154 billion in wealth.
The fortunes of the 250 named individuals, couples, families and partnerships have increased by £ 106 billion across the board, bringing the number of billionaires to a record 171 from 147 in 2020.
Arguably, they don’t need any additional incentives.
At a time when nurses are underpaid, the national infrastructure calls for improvement, child poverty and hunger are on the rise – passing the hat on to a group of individuals who have more money than they do. ‘never need it doesn’t seem unreasonable.
Facts and figures
After leaving my soapbox, here are some of the finer details from the rich list:
Regarding the partial or total source of wealth for each entrant:
- 12 cited ‘investment’
- 12 “ hedge fund ” cited
- 25 ‘finance’ cities
- 59 city ‘property’
- 9 city ‘heritage’
The three biggest declines in wealth were reported by a trio whose money came from the chemical company Ineos:
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe – £ 5.82 billion – bringing his wealth to £ 6.33 billion (from five to 25 on the list)
- John Reece – £ 1.9bn – bringing his wealth to £ 2.2bn (dropped to 75 from joint 30)
- Andy Currie – £ 1.88bn – bringing his wealth to £ 2.22bn (dropped to 74 from 30)
Sir Blavatnik was joined by 26 other participants who were knighted – including Paul McCartney, Cameron Mackintosh, Richard Branson and Philip Green.
There was also:
- 2 ladies
- 12 lords
- 7 women
- 3 dukes
- 2 viscounts
- 2 counts
- 1 prince
- 1 princess
There were 15 new names on the list, while 31 entrants saw no change in their wealth from year to year.