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Monthly News from the Equality Trust

The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing income inequality.

 

 Because more equal societies work better for everyone

february 2016

Dear ,

A lot seems to have happened since our last monthly update. This week we published a major new report, ‘The Aspiration Tax’ on how Britain’s poorest workers lose more of their earnings through taxes and social security withdrawal than the richest 1 per cent, covered in the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post and elsewhere. It includes new polling that shows there is strong public support for letting those on low incomes keep more of the money they earn, and calls for changes to Universal Credit to build a fairer system of social security that supports low income workers. Please do read and share the report!

Just two days into the new working year, ‘Fat Cat Tuesday’ marked the point the bosses of the UK’s largest firms had pocketed more than the average worker will earn in the whole of 2016. Our quote in the Mirror told how excessive executive pay damages society; and our letter in the Times pointed to evidence that it demotivates workers.

Oxfam’s report showing just 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population was a well-timed jolt to business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos. We revealed the similarly stark picture in the UK, where the 62 richest people have vastly more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of the population. Our comments were featured in the Mirror and the Guardian, and our Director, Duncan Exley, appeared on Sky News and Al Jazeera.

New household spending data showed how the rich spend more on scatter cushions than the poor spend on food – our work on this was featured in the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Mirror, and the Independent. We also tackled new wealth inequality figures that reveal almost half of Britain’s private wealth is owned by the richest 10% of households (covered in the Guardian, two Mirror articles, and the Independent).

Better news came in the form of the Lords voting to prevent the Government dropping the income measure of child poverty – a campaign we supported, as money so clearly matters to poverty outcomes.

We also blogged on:

 

LOCAL GROUPS

Our affiliated local groups across the UK have hit the ground running in 2016! Read the latest news on all the great work they're doing.

To check current group listings and contacts and get useful advice please visit here 

To start a Local Group please contact Bill Kerry at bill.kerry@equalitytrust.org.uk

 

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s annual report warned that current policy responses are not enough to prevent social mobility worsening and the country becoming more unequal.

Oxfam released a report revealing that the richest 62 people in the world now have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

The Fabian Society projected significantly wider inequality between rich and poor by 2030, with 2 million more children in poverty.

The Chancellor's £12 billion cuts to social security will deepen UK inequality, said the Resolution Foundation.

Researchers at University College London found income inequality affects hormone levels, with multiple health impacts. We were quoted in this Telegraph article.

New academic research on wellbeing showed how income inequality makes whole countries less happy.

 

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

Aditya Chakrabortty wrote that current housing policy is a ‘naked transfer of money and resources from the poor to the rich’.

Polling for the Electoral Reform Society found 77% of the public think big donors have too much influence on political parties.

Sports Direct shares tumbled after furore over workers' pay, conditions and zero-hours contracts.

The Government accepted Google’s offer to pay just £130m in tax for the past 10 years, which critics say equates to a 3% tax rate.

 

We rely on donations to keep our campaign going. Please support our work by signing up as a regular supporter or by making a one off contribution. You can also support our work by forwarding this bulletin to people you know who might be interested. Thank you!

 

 

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The Equality Trust
1 Addington Square
London, SE5-0HF
United Kingdom

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