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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 ,

Please find the latest monthly round-up of research and news around pay and income inequality. This can also be found on our website here.

This month saw the release of official statistics on household disposable incomes, a key measure of inequality. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good news, as figures showed that inequality slightly increased between 2013/14 and 2014/15. Though small, this rise shows how unsuccessful the Government has been at tackling our extreme inequality. Given these figures do not effectively capture the incomes of the richest 1%, the picture could in fact be even worse, so it’s clear there is a lot more work to be done.

Other news has been more positive, however. For those of us alarmed by the Government’s plans to scrap the income measure of child poverty, February has been somewhat of a rollercoaster. Following defeat in the Lords, when peers voted to retain the relative income measure, a majority of MPs then voted to keep it out of the legislation. Happily, the Government later reconsidered, and will now continue to measure the number of families on low incomes.

Our work has also been recognised this month, with our research on transport inequality cited by the Co-Operative Party as it launched its 'People’s Bus' campaign. In the media, a Daily Telegraph article on how inequality affects the middle classes directed readers towards the graphs on our website illustrating the scale of inequality in the UK. And in the last week, we had a letter published in The Economist explaining why reducing the withdrawal rate in Universal Credit is better than raising the income tax personal allowance.

We also blogged on:

If you were disappointed not to be attending our fully-booked event on health inequalities, don’t worry. Look out this month for a summary of the discussion between Sir Michael Marmot and Spirit Level authors Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson on what governments can do to reduce the health gap.

LATEST LOCAL GROUP NEWS

Read all about the Living Wage successes of the Colchester and Cumbria groups in this month's bulletin as well as the innovative work of The Cambridge Commons group – and the upcoming final report of the London Fairness Commission (co-sponsored by My Fair London).

If you want to get involved in local equality campaigning, just contact Bill Kerry at bill.kerry@equalitytrust.org.uk and he will be happy to help.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

A study by Standard and Poor’s warned that the Bank of England's recovery policies have increased inequality.

Resolution Foundation research showed that within a decade, nine out of 10 Britons on modest incomes under the age of 35 will not be able to afford home ownership.

English children rank near the bottom in an international happiness table of 16 countries, said a report from Children’s Worlds.

British public life is still dominated by privately educated elite, according to new figures from the Sutton Trust.

New evidence from academic research directly links social inequality with public support for the UK’s increasingly harsh criminal justice policies. The Equality Trust is also cited.

The conclusion of our new report on Universal Credit  was backed by new research which finds losing benefits hurts more than paying taxes.

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

The University and College Union revealed the average university boss's salary has hit £272,000: a 14% rise in 5 years, and almost ten times average pay.

The percentage of poorer students accepted to Oxbridge has fallen, showed official figures.

The Children’s Society warned that plans to freeze benefits for four years will hit 7 million children.

Official estimates suggest rough sleeping in England has doubled since 2010, arguably a symptom of our unequal society.

BEST INEQUALITY READS

Frances Ryan asked what sort of society we are living in when not just food banks, but clothes banks, are increasingly needed to help families survive.

Owen Jones responded to the Sutton Trust’s research on the dominance of private school elites, concluding, ‘Inequality runs through our society like a stick of rock.’

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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