HC Deb 16 July 1984 vol 64 cc38-9W
Mr. Skinner

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of (a) personal marketable wealth, (b) private land and (c) company shares is owned by the 1 per cent. of the adult population in the United Kingdom with the largest ownership in each case.

Mr. Moore

It is estimated that in 1981 some 23 per cent. of the marketable wealth owned by adults was owned by the most wealthy 1 per cent. Data for land (excluding dwellings) and company shares are available only for 1979 when the approximate proportions owned by the wealthiest 1 per cent. were 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. respectively. Information about the largest holdings is not available.

It should be borne in mind that occupational pension schemes form a significant part of personal wealth, and that if these pension rights are included the holding of the wealthiest 1 per cent. amounted to about 19 per cent. of wealth in 1981 (and 12 per cent. including also state pension rights). Much of this wealth is in the form of company shares held by the occupational pension funds for the benefit of individuals. If these shares were included, the proportion relating to the wealthiest 1 per cent. would be reduced markedly, but this effect cannot be quantified precisely.