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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

march 2016

Dear ,

We kicked off the month with a fascinating discussion between Sir Michael Marmot and Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett on health inequality. The three academics spoke passionately about the need for a strong political movement to compel governments to tackle the huge health gap between rich and poor.

Ahead of the Budget, our letter in the Guardian called on the Government to reinstate its full distributional analysis, to show the effects of Budget decisions on people with different incomes. Sadly, the Treasury once again failed to provide this, but analysis from the IFS and others revealed the regressive nature of the Budget.

While positive policies on tax avoidance were announced, they were, unfortunately, counteracted by tax cuts for the well-off, and new savings schemes that give yet another leg-up to the already wealthy. Given the richest 10 per cent of households are by far the biggest beneficiaries of the latest Budget, this represents a worrying backwards leap in the pursuit of a more equal society.

This month our research also highlighted how cuts to Universal Credit will hit the working poor hard. Our analysis was featured in the Daily Mirror, warning that a single parent with two kids, working full time on the minimum wage, will be stripped of £554 a year, and will have to work almost an additional week per month just to earn the same as before cuts to the work allowance. Will the new Work and Pensions Secretary make vital changes so Universal Credit makes work pay?

Finally, we said a fond farewell to our Director, Duncan Exley, who stepped down this month in order to write a book on inequality and social mobility. We are in the process of searching for his successor, to lead the next exciting phase of the Equality Trust’s work.

We also blogged on:

As the City AGM season begins, look out for comments from us on excessive and unjustified boardroom pay that demotivates workers and contributes to our country’s worryingly high income inequality.   

LATEST LOCAL GROUP NEWS

This month we have Fairness Commissions, Hustings and Festival visits - not to mention The Peckham Experiment and board games too! Intrigued? then read on https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/latest-news-uk-groups

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

New research from Sheffield Hallam University, Oxfam and JRF showed how welfare reforms will worsen regional inequality.

Government spending changes are regressive, said a report from the TUC.

Oxfam revealed that the UK's richest top 1 per cent have taken a quarter of all new wealth over past 15 years.

Geographers Bethan Thomas and Danny Dorling published their new book which shows how people in the most economically deprived areas have suffered bigger rises in ill health than those in wealthier areas cushioned from cuts. 

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

A new international study showed how poverty and inequality are driving the obesity epidemic.

Forty millionaires signed an open letter asking New York to raise taxes on the wealthy in a '1% plan for fairness'.

Young families are priced out of rental markets in two-thirds of the UK, found an investigation by the Guardian and Generation Rent.

Top head-hunters admitted that executive pay is ‘absurdly high’, and agreed that reining it in would not hurt the economy.

BEST INEQUALITY READS

For Left Foot Forward, Luke Davies discussed the shocking fact that homelessness has returned to 1900s levels, citing experts like Danny Dorling and Thomas Piketty to show how our unequal society is taking us backwards.

In the New Statesman, Anoosh Chakelian revealed how London’s top hotels get away with exploiting their maids, as unions struggle to reach the industry.

Finally, check out this interesting interview with Branko Milanovic, covering his thoughts on global inequality, democracy and policies for the future.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support which helps to keep our campaign going. Regular financial support enables us to plan our work better but further one-off contributions are also most welcome. 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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