Britain's Rich Enjoying Record Wealth
Britain's rich are getting richer, and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal is still the richest of them all, according to this year's Sunday Times Rich List.
The Indian-born billionaire topped the list for the seventh successive year with an estimated fortune of £12.7bn, despite also suffering the biggest fall in wealth of any of the 1,000 men and women named.
Mr Mittal and his family were worth 4.8bn less than last year, leaving them only just ahead of Uzbek metals magnate and Arsenal shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, with £12.3bn.
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich came in third with £9.5bn, down £800m on last year.
The wealthiest Briton is the Duke of Westminster, in seventh place with an estimated £7.35bn, thanks to his central London property empire.
And as the rest of country dipped back into recession this week, the combined wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest men and women reached a record high of more than £414bn.
Rich List compiler Philip Beresford told Sky News: "Obviously it's very difficult in this age of austerity when the government puts out the mantra 'we're all in this together' and the rich seem to be getting richer and richer.
"However, I would caution against bashing the rich because a lot of the people on this rich list are based here, they're investing in companies here, and if they get richer hopefully the rest of us will get a bit more prosperous on the rising tide of wealth."
The Hinduja Brothers, Srichand, 76, and Gopichand, 72, returned to prominence this year, rising five places to claim the fourth spot, with an estimated fortune of £8.6bn, up an impressive £2.6bn on last year.
2012 saw a record eight lottery millionaires joining the list, led by Europe's biggest lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir at number 462, with £160m.
The couple, who have been married for 30 years, gave their home to a neighbour after their win and bought an £850,000 replacement, as well as homes and cars for their children.
Mr and Mrs Weir, a former television cameraman and psychiatric nurse respectively, then donated £1m to the Scottish National Party, making them the country's top political donors, ahead of Peter Cruddas, Sir Anthony Bamford and Lord Sainsbury.
While the likes of Adele and Cheryl Cole have made it onto the Young Rich List, the main list is still dominated by the older generation.
List compiler Mr Beresford said: "Adele is coming on brilliantly with her '21' success, but the main rich list is still dominated by the old, wrinkly rockers - the Sir Paul McCartneys of this world, although I don't suppose he'd want me to call him a wrinkly rocker, and the Rolling Stones.
"And they're doing it now, not just in downloads and record sales, but with their huge stadium tours.
"The real masters of that are U2 in Ireland - their last big tour made over 500m euros in ticket sales."
London and the southeast still dominate the list with 53% of entries, but there are now 74 Scottish entries (up from 70 last year), and 24 Welsh (the same as last year).
"This year we've got a record 77 billionaires, a lot of them foreign-born billionaires, based in London who like London as the centre of their particular universe," Mr Beresford said.
"A lot of Russians find London to be less corrupt, less dangerous than Moscow or St Petersburg for instance."
"But the best examples of people who are getting prosperous and rich on the back of their own endeavours are Britons like a guy called Michael Oliver (number 243), who is in his 70s and yet runs the biggest valve-making company in Europe.
"He's making enormous sums of profits and they're generating more jobs and more tax revenue and it's exactly what we need."
The list's compilers admit it is a "broad brush estimate", based on public accounts, market intelligence, and in some cases the individuals themselves.
"We look at their accounts, we have spies all over the place and a lot of them co-operate now. There's one guy, I don't want to embarrass him, but he gives me a full breakdown of everything he owns, signed off by his reputable accountant," Mr Beresford explained.
"More and more are helping me like that, so we're getting there, and getting more accurate."
And those behind the list report more than a slight air of one-upmanship amongst our wealthiest citizens. Mr Beresford related the story of one man who phoned his friend, also on the list to say: 'Hello, number 21 here, am I talking to number 36?'"
:: The Top 10:
1 - Lakshmi Mittal and family - £12.7bn2 - Alisher Usmanov - £12.3bn3 - Roman Abramovich - £9.5bn4 - Sri and Gopi Hinduja - £8.6bn5 - Leonard Blavatnik - £7.58bn6 - Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli - £7.4bn7 - The Duke of Westminster - £7.35bn8 - David and Simon Reuben - £7.08bn9 - John Fredriksen and family - £6.6bn10 - Galen and George Weston and family - £5.9bn
what do you think?
And the poorest people (on benefits or pensions ) get poorer.
Well bully for them. What about us lesser mortals. We really don't matter to them.
Most of these people have aquired this wealth by exploiting the skill and labour of us wage slaves.Toni Blair stated in 2006 its been 200 years since the end of chapel slavery....wrong the only difference today is that the slaves get paid
These so called wealthy job creators have prospered on the backs of low pay and foul working conditions in there own countrys ....and in this country by using that wealth to buy out british companys with regeneration grants..carbon trading etc etc. It wont be long before they have to give people money to buy the goods they produce !! ...If theres no jobs , who,s gonna buy it all ?
love how they say British, the wealthiest one isnt!!!!! oh the irony
Roman Abramovich looks so much like Harry Enfield... So three of Britain's richest include an Indian and two Russians. Britons aren't doing that well then really, are we? Well done, guys. Very happy for you. Bottles of Bolly all round! My new car can wait again.
Yes jnh358, all the wealthiest ''British'' seem to have very un-British names, like Roman Abramovich, who I understand to be a Russian oil tycoon. How can these people be compared to the Rolling Stones & Sir Paul McCartney who are undoubtably British (whether we like them or not) when they have worked their backsides off for five decades instead of manipulating ''pretend'' money for the prestige of ''owning'' a fashionable football club or whatever.
and then there,s me on the building,s whose money has gone down 30% but hey who cares,do you mr cameron no did,nt think so, england is now a joke for the working man
And the same applies the the lowly wealthy, the camorons and his mates. Bet their accounts are upwardly mobile whilst the poor old Brits watch their accounts dwindle.
It's a peculiar irony that money begets money: "For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath". Mark 4:25 (King James Bible) Cambridge ed. Seems to me this puts a different slant on the, now over-used phrase - "we're all in this together".
Richest briton is no7 and his royal highness got it given so where are the brats making money and jobs for us mere mortals there all bloody foreigners that carnt be right ?It's good how they get rich and we get poorer!!!!@
poor are getting poorer this is not right!!!they are full of greed!!!
The interesting point here is how many non british people choose to live and base themselves in the UK. Could it be our tax system? Undoubtedly some small amount of their wealth does find it's way into the economy. The artcile does not differenciate between capital wealth and income wealth and as such does not start to indicate what level of tax revenue these individuals contribute. It is also worth considering how many people these 'Rich list' individuals employ? My guess is that not all of the wealth has been acquired through honest hard graft of the indiviuals concerned, but again we don't know.
Yes we just don't know how they are getting so rich but my gess they are doing it the wrong way or they just like to have a good flowing business that does well.
I make more money now than I did ten years ago and I have managed that by working hard and learning how to do my job better. The Duke of Westminster hasn't made me poorer by his success so why should I be bitter and jealous of his wealth
Nice to see that it can be done, it gives us hope when we see success stories. Well done !!
Obviously they can't be paying their employees enough .....it is outrageously disgusting, the greed is utterly bewildering......how much does one man need, seriously, this should not be allowed, when are we going to stand up to these greedy slave traders and demand decent pay for ourselves.?