Corbyn's super-rich goal: who are they and what could he do? | Policy

Jeremy Corbyn has promised that a Labor government would go after super-rich people who utilize a "rigged system" to get themselves at the expense of the many.

The Labor leader named five members of the "elite" he would target if he became prime minister: Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct; Crispin Odey, a hedge fund manager who made millions betting on the pound ahead of the EU referendum; Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of petrochemicals company Ineos; Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Sun and Time; and Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, who oversees a large property empire in London.

"This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country, take on the vested interests that hold people back and ensure no society is left," Corbyn said as he launched Labor's general election campaign in the South. London. "Together we can pull down a corrupt system and build a more just country that really cares about everyone."

Mike Ashley

  Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley owns Sports Direct and Newcastle United. Photography: Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Who is he? Ashley is the 74th richest person in the UK, with an estimated wealth of £ 2 billion. He owns a 62% stake in Sports Direct, which has 670 stores and employs around 17,000 people. He also owns the department store chain House of Fraser and the Newcastle United football club.

The indictment Corbyn said Ashley was an example of a "bad boss" who exploits workers by using contracts that have zero hours. He said one of Ashley's employees had felt "forced to give birth in a storage toilet because she was terrified of missing her shift". MPs have previously accused Ashley of running Sports Direct as a "Victorian workhouse" after an undercover investigation by the Guardian in 2015 revealed conditions at his warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire. The survey found that Shirebrook workers received effective hourly wage rates below the minimum wage. Sports Direct was fined and forced to make up the underpayments.

What can be done? Labor has previously proposed banning zero-hour contracts, giving workers a guaranteed minimum number of hours of work per week, raising the minimum wage to £ 10 an hour, and helping to prosecute exploitative bosses, in what it called the "largest expansion of workers. rights "in British history.

Jim Ratcliffe

  Jim Ratcliffe

Jim Ratcliffe's wealth is estimated at £ 18bn. Photography: Andrew Matthews / PA

Who is he? The UK's third richest person, with an estimated wealth of £ 18 billion, is Ratcliffe's founder, CEO and 60% shareholder in the petrochemical company Ineos. Ratcliffe, 67, who was one of the most vocal supporters of the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum, is moving the UK to Monaco to save up to £ 4bn in taxes.

The Appeal Ineos is the largest chemical company in the world and owns gas refineries including Grangemouth in Scotland. His companies are responsible for about one-third of the emissions of industrial greenhouse gases in Scotland, according to the Scottish Environment Agency. Ineos is also investigating the possibility of shale gas fracking. At the Labor event, Corbyn asked, “On which side are you on? The big polluters like Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, who make his money by polluting the environment? Or the children growing up in our cities with reduced lung capacity due to asphyxiation? ”

Ratcliffe moved Ineos to Switzerland in 2010 in protest of the then Labor government's tax regime. The move saved an estimated £ 400 million in tax. He moved the company back to the UK in 2016 after the Right returned to power and cut corporate tax from 28% to 20%. At the time of the return, Ratcliffe said: “Our new London base reflects our British roots. The future of Ineos is very bright and much of this optimism comes from our businesses in the UK. "

What can be done? The United Kingdom has set a goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and Labor wants a target as early as the 2030s as part of a "green new agreement".

Following a mini-earthquake at a test site in Lancashire, Labor urged the government to ban fracking, citing "fears, disruption and potential damage to property."

Crispin Odey

  Crispin Odey

Crispin Odey donated almost £ 900,000 to pro-Brexit campaigns. Photo: Rex / Shutterstock

Who is he? Odey is the founder of Odey Asset Management and one of the country's wealthiest financiers, with an estimated wealth of £ 775 million, according to the Sunday Times guideline. He donated nearly £ 900,000 to pro-Brexit campaigns and donated £ 10,000 to Boris Johnson's campaign for the Conservative leadership.

Appeal Odey earned £ 220m night for the 2016 referendum by betting on pounds and UK companies. He placed the bets after his hedge fund bought private election data from YouGov suggesting that the leave campaign would win. He glowed on the BBC the following day: "It's the Italian expression, il mattino ha lro # oro in bocca – the morning has gold in his mouth – and has never felt as much of an idea as this morning. "

The Labor Party has accused Odey of continuing to bet on the pound and British companies. Corbyn said: "Greedy bankers like Crispin Odey … make millions to bet on our country." Odey dismissed the accusation as "crap" and said his fund was neutral in view of the outlook for the UK economy and UK businesses.

What can be done? John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has demanded an investigation into conflicts of interest among hedge funds that shorted the pound's or UK's share in the run-up to a possible Brexit without a deal and given to the Conservatives.

Some countries have imposed temporary bans on short selling certain stocks, but it would be difficult for a potential Labor government to impose a direct ban on the practice. Finance experts said it would be easy to find a way around any restrictions by buying or selling shares in other countries. A ban on currency trading or hedge funds would also be almost impossible, as they would only switch abroad. A better alternative might be a tax on financial transactions, which McDonnell has supported in the past.

Hugh Grosvenor

  Hugh Grosvenor

Hugh Grosvenor became the Duke of Westminster in 2016. Photo: Peter Byrne / PA

Who is he? 28 years old is the seventh Duke of Westminster Britain's youngest billionaire and the 14th richest person in the country, with an estimated wealth of £ 10 billion. He inherited the fortune and title following the death of his father Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor in August 2016. The family paid no inheritance tax on most of the wealth – which comes from large real estate holdings over Mayfair and Belgravia – as most of the wealth had already been transferred to family grants.

The Prosecution Sheet The Duke had been accused of "social cleansing" over a plan to evict 40 families from City Hall to turn their block into poshle apartments. His real estate company Grosvenor wanted to demolish the Walden House in Belgravia to build a new complex of high-end apartments and shops. The building is owned by Grosvenor, but has historically been leased to Westminster Social Housing Council. Corbyn described the Duke as a "dubious landlord" who had "tried to throw out the entire family's blocks to make room for luxury apartments."

What can be done? Grosvenor has said that it will change the plans and increase the proportion of affordable housing in the project. Local councils may be forced to charge cheaper homes. More generally, more can be done to deal with rogue landlords across the country by encouraging advice to take full advantage of the government's order ban. In the first year of the scheme, only four landlords were placed in the database.

Rupert Murdoch

  Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch owns newspapers in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Photography: Mary Altaffer / AP

Who is he? The 88-year-old Australian media mogul owns newspapers all over the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, including the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

The Appeal Corbyn described Murdoch as a "billionaire media baron … whose empire pumps out propaganda to support a rigged system". His red top papers were at the center of the telephone hacking scandal, which led to the closure of News of the World.

What can be done? The Labor leader has previously made plans to free journalists from "billionaire press barons" and democratize news in the digital age. Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival last year, Corbyn said that without "daring, radical thinking about the future of our media … a few tech giants and unreliable billionaires will control huge swathes of our public space and debate."

Source link