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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

October 2016

Dear ,

Pay has been firmly in the spotlight this month, with new Living Wage rates announced yesterday that will make a huge difference to worker wellbeing and productivity in businesses that volunteer to pay the higher rate. We warmly welcome the annual rise, but are still frustrated that less than a third of FTSE 100 companies are Living Wage accredited while CEO rewards just keep climbing.

Official figures last week brought the excellent news that the earnings gap has shrunk thanks to the new higher minimum wage, proving that inequality is not inevitable. However, we had to comment on the finding that 1 in 5 employees are still low-paid, a figure that has changed worryingly little in the past twenty years.

It’s all very well discussing pay packets, but if you lost your job tomorrow, how long could you ‘walk the tightrope’? We made a splash with our brand new briefing note on household savings and debt inequality, featured in the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, twice in The Sun and in regional and local news up and down the country. It revealed that over six and a half million households are already in debt, or face the prospect of falling into debt within a month of losing their jobs. Please read and share it widely with your friends and family.

We commented on a wide range of issues throughout October, including a World Bank report that said inequality reduction is vital, academic studies showing how poverty damages child development, and the failures of the so-called ‘Troubled Families’ programme. We continued to engage with politicians, giving our thoughts on the Prime Minister’s party conference speech and reflecting on her first 100 days in office, as well as supplying evidence on corporate governance to an inquiry by an MPs’ committee.

Listen to our Executive Director Dr Wanda Wyporska on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze speaking out against inequality, and for migrants, and our Media and Communications Manager discussing why pay transparency is vital (from 1hr 36m). Finally, why not catch up on our October blogs?

Keep your eyes peeled in November for our analysis of the Autumn Statement, and don’t forget to register for Inequality Today 2016 with Ed Miliband and Molly Scott Cato – it’s set to be a fantastic afternoon!


It's been a very busy month for the groups with activity from Glasgow to Hampshire and from Cambridge to South Wales – and many points in between. Find out more here...


The Living Wage Foundation announced the new voluntary Living Wage rate of £8.45, and £9.75 in London.

Resolution Foundation calculated that 21 per cent of full time employees earn below two thirds of the median weekly pay.

Polling for Oxfam showed that 76% of the public believe businesses have a responsibility to reduce pay ratios between employees, and 64% would back a maximum ratio of 20:1.

Research by Universities UK showed that socioeconomic disadvantage affects access to and performance at higher education.

Benefit sanctions are forcing people to use food banks, found Oxford University.


Shelter warned that more than four in 10 homes in Britain do not reach acceptable standards.

Legal aid cuts have left the ‘most vulnerable people’ unable to pursue justice.

Fewer than half of grammar schools give poor pupils priority in allocating places.

Flood defences are 'skewed towards wealthy families and regions'.

An employment court ruled that Uber must pay its drivers the minimum wage and holiday pay; they are not self-employed.


The Child Poverty Action Group warned that child poverty is set to rise enormously. Alison Garnham wrote about the educational and social opportunities that children in poor families miss out on.

What is the role of co-ops in addressing inequality? This is a great summary of Joseph Stiglitz’s comments at the International Summit of Cooperatives.

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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