Scotland business

'Vast' wealth gap between rich and poor in Scotland

Children playing football in Glasgow street Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Less affluent households were more likely to be single adults and lone parents

The wealthiest 10% of households in Scotland own nearly half the country's wealth, according to a new report.

The study, published by the Scottish government, looked at wealth and assets over a six-year period from 2006.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said the report highlighted the "vast inequality that still exists in Scotland".

Meanwhile, Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran warned that the wealthiest "continue to thrive".

The report was published as the Scottish government released new research which showed 83% of Scots thought the gap between those on high and low incomes was too large.

Economic downturn

Between 2010 and 2012, a snapshot of the wealth and assets in Scotland report found that the least affluent 30% of households owned just 2% of all personal wealth, mainly property and personal belongings.

The wider report, which covered the period from 2006 to 2012, before and after the economic downturn, found that 2% of households owned 17% of all personal wealth in Scotland.

Meanwhile, 10% of households owned 44% of all private wealth, the same percentage as for the rest of the UK.

By contrast, the poorer half of Scottish households owned just 9% of all personal wealth and three out of 10 poorer households have no savings or pensions.

Big gap

The survey concluded that the less affluent households were more likely to be single adults and lone parents.

Nearly half of the poorer households were headed by someone in employment.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: "It's not right that the wealthiest 10% of households have 20 times more wealth than the least wealthy 30%."

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said: "Those at the top continue to thrive whilst working families across Scotland struggle to make ends meet."

The report coincided with the publication of the Scottish government research into public attitudes towards poverty, inequality and welfare in Scotland.

It found that four out of five Scots thought there was too great a gap between those on high and low incomes.

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