The U.K.'s five richest families own more wealth than the poorest 20 percent of the country, according to research from a leading charity, highlighting the stark inequality that exists in Britain and across the world.
Sports Direct boss Michael Ashley and real estate investor Gerald Grosvenor are among of the five billionaires, who are collectively worth £28.2 billion ($46.9 billion), more than the £28.1 billion wealth of the bottom 12.6 million people in Britain, Oxfam revealed, citing figures from Forbes magazine.
The "deeply worrying" research comes ahead of the U.K.'s budget announcement on Wednesday, with the charity warning that continued austerity measures could thrust 800,000 children and an extra 1.9 million adults into poverty by 2020.
"It's deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline," Ben Phillips, Oxfam's director of campaigns and policy, said in a press release.
(Read more: Income disparity, fiscal crises threaten 2014: WEF)