In a recent study by the Money Advice Service (MAS), it was revealed that approximately two fifths (40%) of working age people within the United Kingdom (16.8 million), have less than £100 pounds in savings. These statistics do not mean that people are spending, but that they do not have the wealth to spend in the first place!
This study has clearly shown the failure of the capitalist system and its inability to cater for those at the lower end of the spectrum. Indeed, it would seem that people have unfortunately grown to accept both capital and income inequality. Unlike the 99%, the 1% never have to worry about their savings, for they are hoarders of vast wealth, monopolies in their industries and reapers of great benefit. Whereas the 99% have now been accustomed to living a life of constant worry and fear.
How has this come to be in an economy that is valued at roughly, £1.8 trillion? The problem here is clear, the lower class have less wealth (savings) than the higher class and it is not that there is a lack of wealth but that the economy fails to circulate it amongst its own people. This is the fallacy of continuous growth within the free market; it is almost always met by growing inequality.
The only way to end such a calamity, is by redistributing wealth from the upper class to the lower class through taxation on wealth as opposed to incomes. Indeed, it is of no surprise, that within the corrupted free market, tax breaks are given not to those who actually need wealth it, but to those who have an abundance of it. As a result, British society has become extremely unequal, such that millions have little to save whilst a handful have too much to spend.
A solution is needed not just for the UK but the whole world where inequality continues to worsen. The Islamic economic system only taxes any annual surplus wealth and injects it back into sectors that need it most. The beauty of such a taxation system is its light burden on the rich and its great benefit for the poor. More wealth in the hands of low-end labour would mean greater spending and more short-term saving, which would ultimately mean a healthier economy through consumption and investment.
This is a reality, difficult to appreciate within the current free market; most people survive on very little and so they cannot spend nor save at all. In fact, a great portion of economic stimulation comes from a small cluster within society. Those with the greatest wealth, are the capitalists, who push the economy forward with their investment, only to leave the little men with little capital behind.
This has clearly caused great tension and is certainly unsustainable in the long run. It is therefore imperative for Muslims to demonstrate Islam’s equitable economic model and how it is able to efficiently deal with contemporary economic issues such as those discussed within the labour and capital market. For it is the Islamic economic system that will place more wealth into the majority who have little of it, by taking it from the minority whom have a great deal of it