THE increase in wealth of Scotland’s five richest families in the past year would be enough to fund a 10% pay rise for every public sector worker in Scotland, the STUC has said.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, the top five increased their wealth by around £2.3 billion in 2022.

Included in the list is Asos owner Anders Holch Povlsen, alcohol businessman Glenn Gordon and his family, oil boss Sir Ian Wood and family, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed and his family, as well as Highland Spring owner Mahdi al-Tajir – with a total wealth of £18.2 billion.

The wealth increase was as follows: Povlsen £2 billion, Gordon £1.2 billion, Wood £1 million, Al Fayed had no increase, and al-Tajir £48 million.

The top five, according to STUC general secretary Roz Foyer could pay for a 10% pay rise for the roughly 595,000 public sector workers in Scotland, and still have £500 million left over.

Made with Flourish

Following the release of the rich list last week, the group that represents Scottish trade unions has reiterated its calls on the Scottish Government to revamp the tax system.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said during the SNP leadership race he would look at the STUC’s proposals – which included the introduction of a new band for those earning more than £75,000 a year and the increase of two highest tax rates.

Foyer said: “The money accumulated by just five families in the past year alone shows the inherent obscenity in the amount of wealth that resides in Scotland.

“It cannot be right nor fair that so much is accumulated by so few."

"While hundreds of thousands across our country are struggling to feed their families and heat their homes, five very wealthy families sit upon an £18.2 billion empire.

“They’ve made so much that they could still bank a cool £500 million whilst fully funding a 10% public sector pay rise for Scotland’s workers.

“The findings of our Fairer Taxes paper released last year could not be more appropriate now. The power to fund our public services through targeting the clear, unchecked wealth that exists in Scotland lies squarely with the First Minister and his government.

“We hope he makes good on his pledge to look at our tax proposals, including introducing a wealth tax targeting the mega-wealthy, ensuring those at the top pay their fair share for the public services we all rely on.”