The Rich Get Even Richer

Those who agree with the old Marxist aphorism that "the rich are getting richer" will cite further evidence from the latest list of U.K. fat cats published by the Sunday Times.

The paper’s annual "Rich List" shows the combined wealth of the Top 1,000 has rocketed by nearly 20 percent, one of the highest increases recorded since the data were first published in 1989.

Their collective kitty is now worth £360 billion, up from £301 billion in 2006. Further fuel for the Marxist argument – the Top 100 in the list own more than half of that.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and his family (£19.25 billion) are the richest Brit-based tycoons for the second year in succession, having relegated oil baron and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich (£10.8 billion) to second place in 2006.

The richest music industry person is still former Zomba Records chief Clive Calder, whose estimated fortune remains at £1.3 billion, although "guesstimated" could be a better word, as he’s holed up in the Cayman Islands and presumably living on a healthy offshore investment income. He’s 46th in the Top 1,000 list.

Following Calder in the music millionaires list come Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber (£750 million), Sir Paul McCartney (£725 million), Simon Fuller and theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh (both with £450 million), Madonna and Guy Ritchie (£275 million) and Sir Elton John (£225 million). Captain Fantastic definitely comes top of the league when it’s time to give to charity.

In the last year, he’s reportedly donated £22.4 million to various causes including his AIDS foundation and raised a further £25.4 million with charity concerts.

McCartney would have been a lot closer to Lloyd-Webber in the music Top 10 if he hadn’t had £100 million deducted from his estimated fortune and offset against the estimated cost of his upcoming divorce.

Sir Mick Jagger (£218 million), musical entrepreneur Robert Stigwood (£212 million), and Sir Tom Jones and Keith Richards (both with £190 million) complete the top 10 music earners.