900,000 Brits earn more than $1mn… not bad for a country under austerity

© Luke MacGregor
Austerity Britain has the fourth highest number of millionaires in the world, according to a new study, but still doesn’t have enough money to pay off its deficit.

The UK follows the US, China and Japan in having the most millionaire households in the world, with 961,000 people worth at least US$1 million (£687,332).

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reports Britain saw an increase of 106,000 millionaire households between 2014 and 2015, at a time when house prices have been rising five times faster than the average wage.

Offering stark evidence that Tory policies can be linked to growing wealth inequality, BCG said the percentage of Brits with assets between $20 million and $100 million has grown from 12 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2015.

Upon coming to power in 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to reduce the country’s deficit and create a Britain that would “live within its means.” Six years on and the party has yet to meet its goals.

Despite this, the Conservatives have repeated the mantra of thrift, imposing harsh austerity policies which have fallen hardest on the shoulders of the most vulnerable.

The BCG findings come two months after a study published by the Equality Trust revealed the 1,000 richest people in Britain have more wealth than the poorest 40 percent of households combined.

The top 1,000 earners saw their wealth increase by a massive £25.5 billion (US$37 billion) last year, the equivalent of nearly £78 million a day.

Despite the good fortunes of the proverbial one percent, most Brits have been feeling the squeeze since the financial crisis struck in 2008, after which salaries stagnated and living costs rose.

According to a YouGov poll published on Tuesday, a third of middle class households would have to borrow money in the event of an unexpected £500 bill.

For the thousands of people who do not own a home, rent increased by 2.6 percent in 2015, while wages rose by just 0.3 percent.