Singapore is known as a tropical refuge for the world's wealthy, endowed with exclusive residential enclaves
Singapore is known as a tropical refuge for the world's wealthy, endowed with exclusive residential enclavesReuters

Ultra-wealthy financiers are buying land, homes and airstrips in countries such as New Zealand to escape to in case the poor rise up against wealth inequality.

Fears of political unrest across the United States as in the Ferguson riots and Occupy protests have caused the billionaires to plan their escape to secret hideaways.

Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes.

He said: "I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway."

Mr Johnson, said the economic situation could soon become intolerable as even in the richest countries inequality was increasing.

He said: "People need to know there are possibilities for their children – that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else.

"There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money."

Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, echoed Johnson's sentiments, telling CNBC Africa: "Getaway cars the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off. If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would."

He added: "I think the rich are worried and they should be worried. I mean inequality, why does it matter?

"Most people have heard the Oxfam statistics that now we've got 80, the 80 richest people in the world, having more wealth that the bottom three-point-five billion, and very soon we'll get a situation where that one percent, one percent of the richest people have more wealth than everybody else, the 99."