Wealth

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  • Wealth
    • How is wealth measured in the UK?
      • Unlike income, the HMRC (her majesty's revenue and customs) does not conduct a yearly assessment of wealth.
      • 1) Assessment of wealth made for tax purposes (inheritance tax) when someone dies- value of house calculated- if over £32,500 need to pay tax.
      • 2) Asking sample of people the extent of their wealth (wealth and assets survey)
    • Difficulties of measuring wealth
      • Lack of data because the UK have no wealth tax (unlike France)
      • Information gained through assessment of wealth for inheritance Tax purposes is flawed. Out of date figures, and people will attempt to conceal their wealth.
      • Value of assets goes up and down.
      • Gaining information through surveys is inaccurate- people lie about what they have.
      • There is no agreement as to what constitutes wealth.
    • Explanations for the retention of wealth
      • Globalisation: If the gov tried to take wealth from the richest they would move their money into overseas banks.
      • Nature of the taxation system: Allows a substantial proportion of wealth to be passed down and contains loopholes so rich don't have to pay taxes.
      • Political decisions: Politicians could change the tax system if they wanted to- see the notes on income policies.
    • Wealth distribution
      • Wealth is NOT distributed equally in the UK.
      • Statistics show... The richest 5th of the population have over 50% of UK wealth. Poorest 5th of population have 0.6% of UK wealth.

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