Jon Trickett MP: Conservative party is run by and for the rich

This week The Sunday Times published its Rich List for 2022. The results are hard to swallow at a time when millions of people are struggling.

By Jane Chippindale
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 3:03 pm

Jon Trickett MP writes: The richest 250 people in our country – which includes the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak – increased their wealth by nearly £60 billion in 12 months.

The chancellor whose job it is to steer the British economy through the cost of living crisis, entered the Rich List with a worth of £730 million. Making him the 222nd wealthiest in Britain.

A report from Oxfam has found that billionaires’ wealth has risen more in the first 24 months of Covid than in the previous 23 years combined.

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RishI sunak: The chancellor is one of the UK’s wealthiest 25. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, the rising cost of living is forcing millions of families to choose between heating and eating. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, household income is declining at the fastest rate since records began.

Inflation now stands at nine per cent, the highest for 40 years. Wages fell by 1.2 per cent in real terms between January and March as prices went through the roof. But the impact of inflation is not felt evenly.

The poorest households face inflation rates of 10.9 per cent compared to 7.9 per cent for the richest. This is because the poorest households spend much more of their total budgets on gas, electricity and food compared to the richest.

Let’s not forget that since the global financial crisis, workers have already endured the longest period of wage stagnation since the Napoleonic wars. Pay was slashed and public services cut to the bone in the name of ‘economic recovery’.

The truth is there has been no recovery for working people. Things have gone from bad to worse.

We are witnessing one of the biggest redistributions of wealth from the many to the few in human history. Extreme inequality is the direct consequence of Conservative government policies.

They’ve slashed social security for the poor and given tax breaks to the rich. They’ve taken away workers’ rights and made it easier for employers to exploit staff. They’ve outsourced our public services to private companies who’ve made billions of pounds in profits for shareholders.

The Conservatives doggedly protect the interests of the super-rich, while neglecting working people.

How else can we explain their decision to oppose Labour’s proposal for a windfall tax on energy company profits to fund financial support for families with their energy bills? Not a single Tory MP voted for it.

They have other solutions. Redditch MP Rachel Maclean, thinks those struggling with the cost of living should “move to a better job”. Ashford MP, Lee Anderson, thinks poor people use food banks because they “cannot cook properly”. And the prime minister believes that “work is the best route out of poverty”. Never mind the fact that 68 per cent of families in poverty have at least one adult in work. For millions of people, wages are simply not enough to live on.

The Tories are living in their own privileged bubble. Is it any wonder the 250 people on the Sunday Times Rich List account for a total of £57.1 million in donations to the Conservative party? The Conservative party is run by and for the wealthiest, not in the interests of the country.

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