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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

november 2016

Dear ,

Could you cover Christmas on £34 a week? Kayleigh, a mother from Lancashire, will have to. Our work on the unnecessary 6 week delay for Universal Credit applicants was brought to life in the Guardian recently by Kayleigh’s cruel experience of our social security system. With the festive season upon us, many more families are likely to be facing financial hardship and impossible choices, just like Kayleigh.

In advance of the Autumn Statement last month we set out our equality-enhancing policy priorities, but found it ultimately failed to deliver on these. However there was some cause for celebration, as our call for the reinstatement of the distributional analysis was heeded. This allows us to see exactly how the rich and the rest of us will fare from government spending priorities; vital to understanding how policies will affect inequality.

Over the past month there has been no shortage of surprising and shocking news, but we’ve been working hard to keep inequality hitting the headlines. We commented on the scandal of a decade-long life expectancy gap between rich and poor areas for the Independent, and our work on housing inequality was featured again in the Guardian. Also check out our guest articles on Universal Credit, property tax and pay ratio reporting for Open Democracy’s ‘New thinking for the British economy’ series, and our comment on the Social Mobility Commission’s report which found that social mobility is getting worse for today’s generation of young people, not better.

As for building a more equal society through fairer workplaces, the Daily Mirror posed our big question to some of the UK’s top companies: why do you pay your CEO a fortune but don't sign up to the Living Wage? Also this month we commented on the Government’s corporate governance proposals, submitted evidence to the MPs’ inquiry, and were proud to back Stylist’s Equal Pay Day campaign.

We’ve been getting the word out in person, too. Our Executive Director Wanda Wyporska spoke at The Crowd on the role business can play in tackling inequality, and she discussed elites and social security at the Class conference. On the airwaves, our Media and Communications Manager John Hood talked debt and savings inequality on Share Radio and the housing crisis on BBC Tees (hear him at 1:20:56).

Last but certainly not least, we had a fantastic day at our annual conference Inequality Today 2016, where Ed Miliband MP and Molly Scott Cato MEP discussed prospects for progress in the age of Brexit. It was the perfect opportunity to launch our brand new guide for activists, packed with useful information to help you campaign for a fairer society.

The Equality Trust staff wish you all the very best for the festive season and New Year – let’s hit the ground running in 2017 to make it a successful, action-packed and inequality reducing year!

For a bit of egalitarian pre-Christmas reading, why not catch up on our November blogs and see what our excellent local groups have been up to?

LATEST LOCAL GROUP NEWS

More good work again from the groups across the country and we've also heard from them about why they do what they do and what they get from it. Inspiring stuff. Intrigued? Want to join them? Then read on... As we’ve reflected in the title of our brand new guide for activists, inequality is not inevitable, and there has never been a better time to get involved!

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

Income inequality is still at record levels, said the OECD.

The UN  declared that austerity policies introduced into welfare and social care 'amount to violations of disabled people's rights'.

New research by the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust exposed the triple disadvantage faced by low-income black women as a result of austerity.

Welfare sanctions send the poorest into even greater hardship – and the National Audit Office said there is no evidence they work in the UK anyway.

The Resolution Foundation showed how hand-outs to the rich prevented government from ‘balancing the books’.

The outlook for wages is “dreadful”, with the squeeze on pay lasting for more than a decade, forecasted the IFS.

A study by Policy in Practice showed that ‘just about managing' families will be £2,500 a year worse off by 2020.

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

The Children’s Society showed how families with kids are twice as likely to be trapped in problem debt.

Child homelessness this Christmas will hit an eight-year high, warned Shelter.

More than 300,000 children will be dragged into benefit cuts, revealed the Chartered Institute of Housing.

BEST INEQUALITY READS

Stephen Hawking writes about technology, elites, his self-described ‘privileged bubble’ and why we cannot go on ignoring inequality.

Frances Ryan’s article of a mother struggling to survive through Universal Credit delays lays bare how our society treats people on the bottom rungs.

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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