Connect with us


Wealth of average UK household up £96,000 in last decade



The average household has seen its wealth increase by £96,000 since 2003, according to research from Lloyds Bank Private Banking. The rise is being driven by inflating house prices and an increase in the value of people’s financial assets.

At the end of 2013, total household wealth is estimated to have reached £7.84 trillion, an increase of £3.07 trillion over the past decade, outstripping growth in disposable incomes and inflation.

Ashish Misra, head of investment policy at Lloyds Bank Private Banking, explained that between 1992 and 2007 there was a long uninterrupted period of economic growth resulting in large increase in household wealth. During this time, the “booming housing market coupled with rising equity prices” resulted in the rapid expansions in the number of millionaires. The financial crisis and subsequent recession impacted on this rise.

“However, in the past year household wealth grew by £717 billion, the largest annual rise in the decade”, Misra added.

“Increasing activity in the housing market and continued growth in equity prices has boosted household wealth. These figures, to an extent, provide further evidence that the recovery in the UK economy is gathering pace.”

Over the last 10 years, housing wealth has fallen in importance relative to financial wealth. Housing now accounts for 42% of wealth, a decrease of 3%. This compares to financial assets rising from 55% to 58%.

Whilst the research shows that wealth has been increasing across the UK, it doesn’t show how it is distributed. Previous studies have suggested that inequality in the UK is rife with the gap between the rich and poor growing wider.

According to a report from Credit Suisse, published last year, the UK’s wealth is typical of a developed country. Just over half of the population has wealth exceeding $100k (£59k) whilst 2.4 million Brits are among the wealthiest 1% in the world.

It is estimated that the richest 20% in the UK have roughly 60% of the wealth, around 100 times more than those in the bottom 20% have.

Two recent reports argued that there was a huge economic cost because of inequality in the UK. Equality Trust argued that consequences of inequality, such as reduced life expectancy and higher levels of imprisonment, cost the country over £39 billion each year.

Meanwhile an Oxfam report demonstrated just how wide the gap is. The charity’s research showed that the five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20%, the equivalent of 12.6 million people. It also found that over the last two decades the wealthiest 0.1% has seen income grow nearly four times faster than that of the poorer 90% of the population.

Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy Ben Phillips said the figures were a “sign of economic failure”.

Photo:  Howard Lake via Flickr

Further reading:

How wide is the wealth gap?

Wealth inequality costs ‘deeply divided’ UK £39bn a year

Wealth of billionaires grew in 2013 despite global austerity

Global wealth at ‘all-time high’ of $241tn, but inequality still rife

Sustainable development must include tackling inequality, says UN


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

Continue Reading


IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

Continue Reading