Richest 20 families ‘as wealthy as bottom 30% of population’

Scottish Trades Union Congress calculations based on Sunday Times Rich List and survey data.

Scotland’s richest 20 families are as wealthy as the bottom 30% of the population combined, according to a report from trade unions.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has published what it calls a critical alternative to current economic recovery strategies.

The People’s Recovery report also says the two richest families in the country have as much wealth as the bottom 20%.

It was endorsed by the leaders of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens, as well as the SNP’s employment spokesman at Westminster.

The report’s wealth calculations were based on the Sunday Times Rich List and survey data.

It recommends a number of policies including a pay rise for key workers, an increase in the national minimum wage, publicly-owned energy and construction companies and the devolution of employment law.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “This report aims to address that missing dimension in the UK and Scottish government responses to the emergency.

“The trade union movement will work constructively to save jobs and restore a sense of normality to people’s lives.

“But it’s also our duty to ensure that risks are shared evenly and that our workers and communities are never again put in harm’s way by reckless agendas of austerity and exploitation, and that we have a just transition to tackle the climate emergency.

“This report shows how this can work.”

Greens leader Patrick Harvie said it was a “timely and necessary” report while Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said it demonstrated a “commitment to wholescale reform of Scotland’s economy”.

SNP MP Chris Stephens said: “This is an excellent document which challenges establishment thinking and sets out a vision for economic recovery, and highlights in particular why social security and employment laws need strengthened, and how delivering equality is economically beneficial.”

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