In March this year, Fred Done's company, FICM Ltd, was awarded a further cheap loan of £5.2million, on top of £17.3million already loaned by the Greater Manchester Housing Fund. That took the total public money subsidy to £22.5million, to build unaffordable apartments on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Trinity Road (see here).
These loans to private companies, underwritten by Greater Manchester's local authorities, including Salford Council, were slammed by new Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, during his election campaign, when he promised to "renegotiate the aims of this fund so that we can fully focus it on the long-term goal of an affordable home for all..." (see here)
By the time that happens (if it does), the Dones will have already grabbed the money and run. Schemes like this have helped Fred and Peter's wealth rise by £30million over the last twelve months, to £1.33billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, published this week.
The List puts the Dones as 97th richest people in the country, as their wealth has risen by £380million since 2015 (see here).
The Salford brothers' wealth hike is in line with most of the super rich under the Tory Government, which the Rich List salaciously documents under headlines like 'Boom Time For Billionaires' and the 'Peak of Plenty'...
The UK now has the third highest number of sterling billionaires in the world – 134, up by 14 on the previous high... "Fifteen years ago, there were only 21 UK-based billionaires in the Rich List, yet, remarkably, over the past 12 months 19 have seen their wealth rise by more than £1bn within a single year" states a Rich List article
"...The total wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest individuals and families soared to £658bn – a 14% rise on last year" it adds.
The article's intro states clearly... "In a year of uncertainty, one thing was without doubt – Britain's richest were getting richer..."
And if the rich are getting richer...the poor are getting poorer, as the old saying goes. Today, the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre (SUCRC) is doubling its efforts to help homeless people to vote in the forthcoming General Election, with its unique scheme, allowing its premises to be used as a registering address, and encouraging other organisations to join the drive (see here)...
Commenting on the Sunday Times Rich List findings, Alec McFadden from Salford TUC and SUCRC says: "It's Robin Hood in reverse...Public sector workers and nurses getting only 1% pay rise; no increase in welfare benefits for sick disabled and unemployed – and zero hour contracts for thousands of workers...
"For the poor homeless, sleeping in tents or doorways, the only way to change this system is for everyone to register to vote by 22nd May" he adds "And to then vote on June 8th..."
* Meanwhile, Salford people should shed a tear for John Whittaker and family, who own three quarters of Peel Holdings. According to the Rich List, they have seen their wealth fall by £140million to a mere £2.2billion. But they are still the 53rd richest people in the country.