Just 10 years ago, it took just about $1.2 billion USD to break the UK’s top 50 money elite; today it takes about $2.9 billion. According to the newest Sunday Times Rich List, published just last week, 2014 is the first year the country houses over 100 billionaires —104 to be exact, and they have a combined wealth of over $507 billion.
The UK has more billionaires per capita than any other country in the world and London houses more billionaires than any city full stop. Since last year alone the country added 16 new billionaires and $94 billion among their personal net worth, despite the government raising its fees slightly for tax exempt “non-domiciled” billionaires. Legally speaking, most of the billionaires on this list aren’t permanent UK residents, so they pay little or no income tax at all. Instead, a fee of about $84,000 USD for long term non-domiciled tax exemptions in the UK calls it square. According to analysts, the growing billionaire list refutes warnings that raising fees on tax havens sends the wealthy running for the hills. In reality, that $84,000 fee would equal about .008% of tax on a billion dollars of income.
Of course, not all that income gets made in the UK, hence the exemption on gains not remitted to the country. But these fixed, comparatively minuscule fees have clearly done little to deter billionaires from doing business in London; making the rich pay a little more for their tax-strategic residence, it turns out, won’t topple the economy. The plates have also shifted slightly within UK’s moneyed heights: Since last year, 7 of Britain’s 10 richest saw their net worth rise by more money than you and everyone you know will probably make in your combined lifetimes. The three unlucky ones, on the other hand, each shed the GDP of a small country, and new names occupy the number one position. Again, because many of these list members aren’t legally “domiciled” in the UK, they pay little or no income tax. Here for your endless jealousy and bemusement, we present the vast personal fortunes of Britain’s ten richest people in 2014.
10 The Duke of Westminster: $14.34 billion
9 Roman Abramovich: $14.37 billion
May your prayers be with the UK’s 9th richest man, whose stake in steel industry giant Evraz fell by two-thirds of its value in 2013. Abramovich, owner of the UK’s Chelsea soccer team, a Boeing 767 and the world’s largest yacht, somehow lost $1.31 billion since last year. That didn't stop the Russian metal and oil tycoon from booking an entire Israeli luxury hotel for a family holiday just last month. As the main owner of private investment firm Millhouse LLC, Abramovich also remains the 5th richest man in Russia.
8 Kirsten and Jorn Rausing: $14.85 billion
7 David and Simon Reuben: $15.8 billion
6 John Fredriksen and family: $15.61 billion
5 Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli: $9.75 billion
4 Len Blavatnik: $16.87 billion
3 Lakshmi Mittal and family: $17.29 billion
2 Alisher Usmanov: $17.97 billion
1 Sri and Gopi Hinduja: $20.08 billion
Making $2.19 billion last year alone, the Indian-born Hinduja brothers land the title of Britain’s richest billionaires of 2014 with over $20 billion net worth. Spanning 37 countries, the Hinduja empire includes automobiles, finance, oil, renewable and nonrenewable energy, media, chemicals, medicine and education, not to mention a $500 million, 67,500-square-foot piece of historical real estate next door to Buckingham Palace.
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