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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

september 2016

Dear ,

If September brought a familiar feeling of 'back-to-school' dread this month, it was amplified for many by the Government’s announcement that it plans to bring back selective education. We join a multitude of critics of the policy citing evidence that grammar schools simply do not work. Grammar schools are bad for equality, and bad for education.

However, there has also been some excellent news that could help make real headway in reducing UK inequality. The Equality Trust is in conversation with the Government as it fast-tracks proposals to improve corporate governance. Workers on boards, and the publication of pay ratios between CEOs and their average worker would improve transparency, force businesses to think about the contribution of ordinary workers, and make it harder for them to justify huge gulfs in pay.

Before Parliament broke up for conference season, it was also encouraging to see Opposition MPs pushing hard to secure the return of the Budget’s distributional analysis, which reveals how government decisions affect households across the income spectrum. We lobbied for it to be reinstated, and support others’ efforts to bring it back – we’ll keep you informed.

With the party conferences now in full swing, we’ve heard encouraging noises on inequality from across the political spectrum. New joint Green Party leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley warned that inequality is ‘a criminal and cynical loss of human potential,’ while Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said 'Britain today is far too unequal’.  Most recently, Jeremy Corbyn called ‘rampant inequality’ the ‘great scandal of our time’. We hope and expect to see all parties commit to reducing inequality during conference season, and will continue to push for these encouraging words to be translated into action.  

Finally, our new Director Dr Wanda Wyporska gave her observations on the ‘perfect storm’ of educational inequality at the RSA.

We also blogged on:

Are you an eBayer? We would be very grateful if you would consider nominating us as your favourite charity by logging in and clicking ‘save as favourite’ any time in October for the chance to win £250 for yourself and the opportunity for The Equality Trust to win a cash prize that will contribute our work!

LATEST LOCAL GROUP NEWS

A busy month of diverse activities from Scotland to the south coast and many points in between. To find out more, read here...

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

JRF urged the Government to prioritise a "new deal" to alleviate poverty so that less than 10 per cent are in poverty at any one time and no one remains in poverty for more than two years.

The so-called 'national living wage' of £7.20 an hour fails to provide basic needs, said the Living Wage Commission.

The richest 1 per cent in the UK owns 20 times more total wealth than the poorest fifth, said new Oxfam research.

The OECD published evidence that grammar schools are likely to benefit wealthy families without raising overall standards.

The High Pay Centre published a paper by Chris Philp MP which called for mandatory publication of top to median company pay ratios.

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

The Financial Times reported that London private school fees can now cost £13,000 a year. We pointed out that's all minimum wage workers have to live on.

Shelter revealed that 1 in 11 working families are skipping meals to keep a roof over their heads.

Cuts to public health funding widen health inequality, said the MPs’ health committee. The gap itself is driven by unequal incomes.

BEST INEQUALITY READS

Aditya Chakrabortty reported on the County Durham teaching assistants being ‘treated like dirt’.

'…the idea that equality is vital to economic success and societal wellbeing' is 'hard-wired' into Finnish education. Read this lovely account of learning through play and no selective schools.

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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