Wealthiest Scots '˜own 200x more' than the poorest

The wealthiest 10 per cent of Scots own more than 200 times as much wealth as the poorest 10 per cent, official figures have revealed.

The poorest Scots spend a greater proportion of their income on fuel bills. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The Scottish Government report examined the personal wealth owned north of the border - including property, financial wealth such as investments and savings, private pensions, and physical wealth such as cars and jewellery.

Researchers found that for the poorest 30 per cent being employed is “no longer a guarantee against low wealth”.

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Private households in Scotland have increased in wealth by 22 per cent in two years to a total of £865.6 billion.

Image: Scottish Government

The latest figures show the increase in wealth from 2010/12 to 2012/14 is the largest since 2006/08.

The report found the richest 10 per cent of households owned 43 per cent of all private net wealth - worth £374 billion.

However, the poorest half of households, all those with a net wealth of £186,500 or under, owned just nine per cent of all private wealth, worth £76.9 billion.

The gap between rich and poor in Scotland is increasing as the poorest 40% of homes were 9.4 times worse off in 2012/14 than the top 10 per cent, compared with 8.8 times in 2010/12.

Image: Scottish Government

Poor households do not have the capacity to build up wealth and the report states “this can mean a lifetime of low wealth despite being in employment”.

It adds: “The least wealthy 30 per cent of households have very few assets, with employment no longer a guarantee against low wealth.”

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said the Scottish Government is “passionate about creating a fairer and more equal Scotland”, and is already taking action to tackle inequalities, including introducing a Child Poverty Bill and encouraging employers to pay the real living wage.

She said inequality in Scotland had been “exacerbated” by UK Government austerity and Brexit uncertainty.

She added: “Much of the work we are undertaking is included in our Fairer Scotland Action Plan, which outlines 50 concrete and ambitious actions to help create a fair, smart and inclusive Scotland by 2030.

“These actions include expanding funding of early learning and childcare, and reducing the attainment gap in schools, while the £29 million Aspiring Communities Fund will support communities and the third sector in developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage.

“We will continue to look at developing new ways to help people overcome disadvantage and we need all of Scotland to work together to achieve this.”