Niall Cooper: Good news for the rich?
The Gospel is good news for the rich too
It’s so hard being wealthy today… even a million doesn’t go that far any more. The once-princely sum is now the average house price in 4,735 streets in London, according to the property website Zoopla. In Sloane Gardens, Chelsea, £1m will only buy you a one-bedroom flat.
There’s wealth, and then there’s “ultra-high net wealth”. As Oxfam revealed at the start of the year, just 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population. Since 2010, the wealth of the richest 53 men and nine women has increased by more than half a trillion US dollars to a mind-boggling $1.7tn USD.
According to the latest wealth report, just over a quarter of the “seriously wealthy” considered purchasing another house in 2015 to add to the three they already own. But apparently art is where it’s at amongst the super-rich. It is always possible to buy a new ski chalet or commission a new yacht, but nobody can paint another Monet or build a classic Ferrari.
Great wealth also brings worries. How to hand over the family wealth to the next generation was the number one worry, but close behind were concerns about wealth taxes and the increased government scrutiny of wealth. So, whilst Bill and Melinda Gates might win plaudits for giving away most of their wealth in their lifetimes, clearly the majority of seriously wealthy folk are intent on holding onto the wealth at all costs…
This is an extract from the March 2016 edition of Reform.