While millions of people across Britain are suffering the effects of austerity there is still a wealthy minority in our divided society who have enough cash to splash on a holiday home.
The first wave of data from the 2011 census was released this week and showed 2.3 million people across England and Wales have more than one address.
Many of this number can be accounted for by students who return to live at home during holidays or children with parents living at different addresses.
But it is the 165,000 holiday homes, usually in stuning areas of natural beauty like Cornwall and Gwynedd in north Wales, that are leaving people jobless and in some cases homeless.
There are 12,012 second homes in Gwynedd and more than a quarter of those are holiday homes - a higher percentage of holiday homes than any other area in Wales or England.
And this could be just the tip of the iceberg, according to Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams.
"Many parts of Gwynedd have far more holiday homes than the '64 people per 1,000 residents' figure given by the Office of National Statistics, especially in some areas of Pen Llyn for example," he said.
"We will not know for certain until the full census figures are published but it seems that there are by now far more holiday homes in villages than in remote rural areas. This can put pressure on the local area in the sense that property prices are kept high."
That has meant the once steady stream of jobs in the area has dried up, says Federation of Small Businesses regional vice-chairman for north Wales Raymond Evans.
Mr Evans tells the Star that part-time residents don't buy many souvenirs from local craft shops as tourists might. Nor do they live in the community long enough each year to regularly use local services or small businesses.
And on Wednesday the Star reported that areas with high numbers of second homes are also more likely to have high and rising numbers of people sleeping on the streets or in temporary accommodation.
Holiday home hot-spot Cornwall is one of these areas and Roger Harding of housing charity Shelter explains: "House prices in Cornwall are already more than eight times the average wage.
"Every day Shelter hears from young people and families in Cornwall and across the country who, despite working hard and saving up, find that getting a home of their own remains out of reach," he added.
Cornish MP Andrew George is now lobbying for changes to the planning system which could mean people need permission to buy a home for part-time residency in the future.
"This is not the politics of envy, it's about dealing with the consequences of unequal housing opportunities," he says.
And this week's figures show holiday homes are one ingredient in a toxic cocktail that has sparked a housing crisis affecting all but Britain's rich.
Once again the response of the cold Con-Dem government has been to turn its guns on our poor and vulnerable.
Its Welfare Reform Act means social housing tenants who claim housing benefit will be stripped of around £48 per month for every unoccupied room in their house in a bid to force them out into "more suitable accommodation."
But once tenants have been given the boot from their homes they will be joining a queue of millions of young people desperate for decent accommodation suitable for one or two people.
All of this evidence smashes any semblence of substance behind the "one-nation" message the Labour and Tory parties are squabbling over.
The alternative is to build new, green homes which cater for all in society, getting people off the streets and creating quality jobs at the same time.
And holiday home owners should be made to pay their way in tax which can be ploughed back into these house-building schemes.
It's an alternative that has growing support among progressive political parties and part of the cause that drew 160,000 people onto the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast last weekend.
This week's news has shown the housing and unemployment crisis is often at its worst on the periphery of these islands - in Cornwall to the south and in Gwynedd to the west.
But ending the crisis by building homes and creating jobs must now be at the front and centre of resurgent progressive politics across Britain.
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