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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 2017

Dear ,

The latest monthly round-up of research and news around pay & income inequality.

Most of the information in this email was previously reported via our twitterfeed (@equalitytrust).

Can the boss of a top firm really work 386 times harder than someone on minimum wage? We don’t think so, and that’s why this month we kept up the pressure on gross pay inequality with our brand new Pay Tracker report, highlighting the mammoth ratios between FTSE 100 CEOs and average and low-paid workers. Timed to hit as AGM season swung into action, our story was top billing in the Guardian and was also covered by the BBC, the Independent (twice), the Mirror, the Sun and the Telegraph, among others.

It lent a superb boost to our new petition calling on the Government to legislate to require medium and large companies to publish their pay ratios so that we can all see just how much more their CEO is valued than their average worker. If you haven’t yet supported this call for transparency, please sign today and share it with as many others as you can. Only with people power can we shift complacency into meaningful action.

In the political sphere, this month brought a disappointing Spring Budget that failed to reverse any of the planned social security cuts for the poor, or tax cuts for the rich. In light of new figures showing a slight increase in inequality and a disgraceful four million children in poverty after housing costs, this failure to act damages all of us. Our Executive Director Dr Wanda Wyporska was on several TV and radio programmes discussing how the Budget had been a wasted opportunity to reduce inequality, and made her second appearance on the BBC’s Big Questions criticising the planned increase in divisive selective schools.

As members of the Green Economy Coalition, we signed this important letter because we strongly agree that green policies must also be fair policies. We also welcomed a new joint report on race and class by the Runnymede Trust and Class, arguing that attempts to divide and rule must be challenged.

Finally, none of us could have failed to notice the historic event that took place this week: the triggering of Article 50 that sets Brexit in motion. The Equality Trust will be working hard to amplify the message that we need a ‘Fair Brexit’. The Government must set out its plans to reduce inequality, protect workers' rights, develop the green economy, and resist all pressure to turn the UK into a tax haven. The vision of fairer, more equal society must be at the heart of any blueprint for the future.

Catch up on March’s blogs:

LATEST LOCAL GROUP NEWS

A fantastically diverse month of activity from the local groups involving meetings, training, writing, lobbying and starring on TV! Find out all about it here.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS

Official figures showed a slight (but not statistically significant) increase in inequality, showing it is still not being tackled. Child poverty rose again in 2015/16, to four million children after housing costs.

The IFS warned it expects the fall in inequality since the recession will be reversed.

The “scars” experienced from growing up in poverty are deeper in Britain than elsewhere in Europe, found research from the Institute of Education.

Trust for London said 4 in 10 Londoners are living below the socially-accepted standard of living.

Public sector wages in 2020 will be £1,700 lower than a decade before due to pay restraint and high inflation, warned the Resolution Foundation.

Unison lawyers challenged the Government’s employment tribunal fee rises in the Supreme Court. Access to justice is a crucial inequality issue. (We will keep you updated on the verdict.)

INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS

A poll for the Independent found that the British public is in favour of reinstating the 50p top income tax rate for the richest, as well as higher corporation taxes.

A new report from the Samaritans highlighted the links between inequality and suicide.

Tesco hurried to rectify large-scale minimum wage theft.

An investigation found IKEA drivers living in trucks for months, being paid £3 an hour.

We learnt how ‘period poverty’ is happening not just in developing countries, but in the UK, and is affecting girls' education.

Oxfam revealed that Europe’s 20 biggest banks are using tax havens on an industrial scale.

BEST INEQUALITY READS

Read this great article by Abi Wilkinson which sets out how trade unions have advantages for everyone, including business.

In the Guardian, Jo Littler explores how the idea of ‘merit’ has been manipulated to privilege the wealthy.

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
Resource For London
356 Holloway Road
London, N7-6PA
United Kingdom

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