Update 20th December – Watch channel 4 on 22nd at 20.00 – Why the richer people in some parts of the UK are living up to 18 years longer than those in the poorer parts of the UK...
Richard Ford in The Times 19th December 2015 reports: The richer are getting richer faster. Social justice demands that we make treatment opportunities as equitable as we can afford.. Current structures ad practice may mean great differences in outcomes between different regions within the UK, if covert rationing continues. The natural sequitur will be a greater demand for private health cover, and premium differences reflecting the quality of treatments and outcome in your region. Are you willing to travel to get better care? Citizens who are well, and not patients, always vote for local services, but when it’s their nearest and dearest who are ill, and outcomes are better “away” they are always willing to travel. The paradox of the modern world and specialisation is that what we need is not necessarily what we want ……. until that inevitable and unforeseen medical crisis. Perhaps its a trade off: shorter lives and less money, but more convenience? The trouble is that specialist services are centralising.. It is going to become increasingly inconvenient and difficult to access the best care..
The richest households in Britain are getting richer while the financial resources of the poorest are growing much more slowly, according to official figures published yesterday.
Soaring house prices are pushing up the assets of the wealthiest and those in the middle, helping to contribute to a growing wealth gap, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
It reported that the richest 10 per cent now own 45 per cent of national household wealth — and that this group’s wealth is growing at three times the rate of the poorest 50 per cent.
The data looked at households’ personal wealth, which includes savings, property, private pensions and possessions. It found that the total national wealth was £11.1 billion in 2012/14 — an increase of 18 per cent compared with two years earlier.
Median households were £8,600 richer than two years earlier, with their wealth increasing from £216,500 to £225,100 between 2010-12 and 2012-14, the ONS said. But the difference in how households had fared was stark. The richest 10 per cent of households — all of whom had cash and assets worth more than £1.5 million — saw their personal wealth wise by 21 per cent over the period.
That was three times the average growth seen by the bottom 50 per cent, which had an average rise of 7 per cent.
“While total wealth was seen to increase for each of the wealth bands, the disparity in the change was large,” the ONS said.
“The distribution of wealth is highly skewed towards the top.”
It also showed how concentrated the country’s riches are in the southeast, with 22 per cent of households in the region among the wealthiest 10 per cent overall.
In comparison, only 2 per cent of households in the northeast and 4 per cent of households in Wales held sufficient wealth to fall into the top bracket.
Private pensions accounted for 40 per cent of total wealth nationally, though once again, large disparities emerged. The top 10 per cent boast a median pension wealth of £749,000, compared with £2,800 for those in the bottom half, the ONS said.
More than two in five households (43 per cent) in the least wealthy half of the distribution had no private pension wealth at all, they added.
Researchers suggested that less well-off households had invested the bulk of their wealth in their family homes, saying that property made the largest contribution to the total wealth of the bottom half of households. Only half of those in that group owned any property, however.
The figures also showed that half of households with a mortgage on their main residence owed £83,000 or more between July 2012 and June 2014.
Kate Pickett in the Independent 25th October 2013: Health inequality is blighting the UK
Health is closely correlated to Wealth – If you are poor you get no choice (Wales), and live a shorter life, but if you are rich, or born abroad, you live longer and you do get choice! So much for equity…