Sri and Gopi Hinduja have been named the UK’s richest people, with an estimated fortune of £28.5billion – the largest recorded in the 34 years of publication. The Sunday Times Rich List.

The brothers who run a property-industrial conglomerate from London have seen their wealth rise by £11.5billion in the past year to put them at the top of the annual wealth rankings ahead of inventor Sir James Dyson, which takes second place with £23 billion.

Sri, 86, and Gopi, 82, Hinduja and their extended family own a wide range of industrial and financial businesses and investments based primarily in the UK, India and Switzerland. They are currently converting the Old War Office building in Whitehall into a Raffles Hotel with 120 rooms, 11 restaurants and 85 serviced apartments.

As Britons face the biggest cost of living crisis in decades, the number of billionaires in the UK hit a record 177, up six from 2021. The combined wealth of Britain’s billionaires reached £653 billion, up £59 billion or 9.4%.

“While many of us are experiencing the biggest cost-of-living squeeze we can remember, the super-rich have had another banner year,” said Robert Watts, the list’s compiler. “This year’s Sunday Times rich list again reveals record wealth and more billionaires than ever before.”

Julia Davies, founding member of Patriotic Millionaires UK, a group of super-rich people calling for the introduction of a wealth tax, said the list showed an “obscene concentration of wealth as millions struggle to live simply”.

She added: “As the Bank of England warns of apocalyptic rise in food prices, 2 million people are skipping meals and a third of people cannot afford essentials. Meanwhile, the rich, as always, sit nicely. This disparity needs to be corrected. It is a political and economic oversight that our politicians are not focused on managing the extreme wealth gap at a time of national economic emergency.

Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, a think tank that focuses on excessive wages, said: ‘It’s not really efficient or sensible or necessary to run the economy in a way that allows people already incredibly rich to accumulate even more. while much of the population is crushed by a cost of living crisis.

“With stagnant wages and miserable economic growth, it is clear that a fairer sharing of existing wealth is the most important political challenge of our time. This means taxing the super-rich more effectively and getting the businesses they own and invest in to pay their workers more.

Hildyard calculated that if total household wealth in Britain had grown at the same rate as the wealth of the top 20 entrants to the rich list over the past decade, the average household would now be £205,000 more than currently.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and his wife, Akshata Murty, have been named the 222nd richest people in the UK, with a combined fortune of £730million. Their entry into the annual wealth rankings follows the revelation last month that Murty had claimed non-dom status for not legally paying tax on the annual dividends she receives from a $690million stake. sterling in the Indian IT company Infosys, founded by his billionaire father.

After growing public outrage, Murty bowed to pressure to pay tax in the UK, saying she realized many people felt her tax arrangements were not “work compatible”. of my husband as Chancellor”.

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Several Russian oligarchs are still on the list despite being hit with sanctions after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich’s estimated fortune has shrunk the most on the list, from £12billion last year to £6billion today, largely due to sharp drop in the value of his shares in the London-listed Russian metals company. Evraz. However, he is still the 28th richest person in the UK.

“We think our readers will be surprised that more of those who were sanctioned after the invasion of Ukraine didn’t see their fate more affected,” Watt said. “But the reality is that there is a world of difference between freezing assets and seizing assets.

“Even before the war began, many of these billionaires had moved their wealth beyond the reach of Western authorities.”

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