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The Week - - News | Politics -

The waste cri­sis, with re­ports that the Gov­ern­ment is to ex­tend the plas­tic bag “tax” to all shops, to tackle Bri­tain’s “throw­away cul­ture” ( see page 23). Cur­rently, re­tail­ers with fewer than 250 em­ploy­ees are ex­empt from the 5p levy. Men, who learnt that they are en­joy­ing more leisure time than they did 15 years ago – while women have less. Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics, men spent 43 hours a week on leisure ac­tiv­i­ties in 2015, up from 42.88 hours in 2000. In the same pe­riod, women’s leisure time fell to 38.35 hours, from 39.24. Other sur­veys sug­gest that women spend­ing more time car­ing for adult rel­a­tives may be be­hind the grow­ing dis­par­ity. Jeff Be­zos, Ama­zon’s founder, who was named the rich­est per­son of all time, with a $105bn for­tune. How­ever, his­tor­i­cal com­par­isons are tricky. For in­stance: John D. Rock­e­feller, the first bil­lion­aire, had an es­ti­mated $1.5bn for­tune. Ad­justed for in­fla­tion, it would now be worth $24bn, but that sum was then equiv­a­lent to 1.5% of the US’S eco­nomic out­put – and against that mea­sure, it would now be worth $350bn.

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