Huge gains of wealthiest should be taxed more to help households with cost of living crisis, a think tank has said this morning.

As todays’s Sunday Times Rich List shows record number of UK billionaires, their gains should be taxed the same as income from work the the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says huge increases in wealth at top during pandemic shows how “wealth often begets more wealth”.

The progressive think tank urge better redistribution through higher taxes on income from wealth, and scrapping council tax for a new, proportionate property tax.

Reacting to today’s news George Dibbs, head of the IPPR’s Centre for Economic Justice, said:

“As we enter a once-in-a-generation cost of living crisis the Sunday Times Rich List shows us again that vast wealth often begets more wealth. That has proved particularly true during the pandemic, when the wealthiest accumulated more wealth than poorer people who saved nothing.

“Now there are more billionaires in the UK than ever before and the collective wealth of the richest has grown again.

“We need to look urgently at ways to support the households most exposed by this new price crisis, and that should include redistributing the wealth gains of the richest to pay for higher social security benefits for those who most need them.

“That means reforming the tax system so that income from wealth – capital gains – is taxed the same as hard-earned income from work. It’s also time for a fair, proportional property tax to replace the regressive system of council tax. Those with the broadest shoulders should be contributing more.

“At the same time we should scrap so called ‘non-dom’ status through which the wealthy avoid tax by spending time abroad.”

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab congratulated chancellor Rishi Sunak on joining the list earlier today, telling Times Radio: “He’s a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business, who’s coming to make a big impact in public service.

“I think we want more of those people. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve got someone of British-Indian origin, showing all people in our country that you can get to the top of politics.

“And frankly, I think if I understood correctly, The Sunday Times Rich List was a reflection of not just him but his wife. His wife is an incredibly successful entrepreneur in her own right.”