November 18, 2019 Media


A UK Labour government will take on the billionaires to end the shameful levels of wealth inequality in Scotland, Richard Leonard has said.

Under the Tories and the SNP, the super wealthy have got richer from the rigged economy while lifeline services have been cut, the housing crisis has deepened and our NHS is struggling to cope.

The wealthiest one per cent in Scotland own more wealth than the entire bottom 50 per cent combined.

A new report published by the Labour Party, ‘In The Pockets of The Few’, shows that 48 of the UK’s 151 billionaires have donated more than £50 million to the Tory Party since 2005, with 10 billionaires giving money since Johnson declared he wanted to be Prime Minister. While these super-rich individuals are gifting tens of millions of pounds, the Tory government is on course to hand out almost £100 billion in tax breaks and corporate giveaways by 2023/24.

Between 2015 to 2018, the total household income of the top ten percent of Scotland had 27 per cent more income compared to the bottom 40 per cent combined. That inequality gap has grown successively from 24 per cent in 2014-17, 21 per cent in 2013-16 and 14 per cent 2012-2015.

In a landmark speech today (Tuesday), the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell will set out how Labour will make close that gap and make it a top priority of the government.

Commenting ahead of the speech, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“The gap between richest and poorest is growing in Scotland under the SNP and the Tories.

“While the rich get richer under this rigged economy the lifeline services that the poorest people in our society rely on are being cut to the bone.

“Labour will take on the billionaires and the super elite by making sure they pay their fair share of tax.

“Instead of being buried in the Cayman Islands this money will be used to transform the lives of people across Scotland.

“That’s why Boris Johnson and his billionaire donors are doing all that they can to stop a Labour government.“Only Labour will take on the super wealthy to transform Scotland so we have a country that works for the many, not the few.”