Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the world - and it’s getting worse.

Five years ago, the 1,000 wealthiest Britons owned £519 billion – the equivalent of a third of Britain’s gross domestic product.

Fast forward to today, which sees the Sunday Times rich list reporting that there are 151 billionaires in the UK owning £525 billion – up 9.2 per cent on the previous year. This compares to 104 billionaires with £301 billion of combined wealth in 2014. At the same time, more than 1.8 million people went to food banks in the past year.

Britain also makes headlines in Europe for the unequal way in which the wealth is distributed, with the five poorest regions in Northern Europe to be found here. However, inner London registers as the richest area in Northern Europe.

Incidentally, the five poorest regions - West Wales and the Valleys, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and Tees Valley and Durham - all voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, with Lincolnshire having the highest proportion of Leave voters in the country.

The referendum vote was only the most obvious sign of discontent at this situation. It was a call for a change in direction and for government to start addressing inequality.

The austerity policies of first the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, then since 2015, the Tories on their own, have helped increase inequality to these obscene levels. However, the gap between have and have-nots has been growing with the implementation of neo-liberal economic policies dating back to the late 1970s.

There has been some recognition from all sides that this situation cannot continue. The sight of millions going to foodbanks, the growing number of homeless on the streets and children living in poverty concerns everyone.

There should though also be concern in the boardrooms, where many of the super rich dwell. If more wealth is flowing to a small number of individuals, who lock it away or shift it offshore, then the wheels of the economy are not being greased. Put simply, people need to be earning and spending for the economy to keep operating.

These developments have been recognised by the Conservative government, which has become a late convert to the idea of a living wage. It has also worked to shift tax bands to put more money in people’s pockets.

What is required though is a truly radical Labour government that will bring in policies devised to shift this inequality. The rich need to be taxed – including particularly those minimal tax paying corporations. There needs to be a reduction in the working week to four days, as well as possible the introduction of Universal Basic Income. Retirement ages should be lowered and the state pension increased. Anti-trade union laws need to be repealed.

There also needs to be a mass environmentally sustainable council house building program to counter homelessness

Maternity and paternity provision needs to be improved and the successful Sure start scheme of the previous Labour government reintroduced and built upon.

A radical Labour government can lead the way toward closing the inequality gap, making this country a better, happier place to live.