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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Unequal Britain: richest 10% are now 100 times better off than the poorest

It concludes that the government has failed to plug the gulf that existed between the poorest and richest in society in the 1980s. "Over the most recent decade, earnings inequality has narrowed a little and income inequality has stabilised on some measures, but the large inequality growth of the 1980s has not been reversed," it states


"A central theme of the report is the profound, lifelong negative impact that being born poor, and into a disadvantaged social class, has on a child. These inequalities accumulate over the life cycle, the report concludes. Social class has a big impact on children's school readiness at the age of three, but continues to drag children back through school and beyond" - just goes to show it's all about class. Class divisions still exist and are still relevant.


Overall, it points to a radically more equal society after the neo-liberal excesses of the 1980s, but a Labour government from 1997 that needed to be just as radical in order to put right some of the mess it inherited. But, as we all know, it was too timid. Too scared of its own shadow and the ghost of 1983.


""The evidence we have looked at shows the long arm of people's origins in shaping their life chances, stretching through life stages, literally from cradle to grave. Differences in wealth in particular are associated with opportunities such as the ability to buy houses in the catchment areas of the best schools or to afford private education, with advantages for children that continue through and beyond education. At the other end of life, wealth levels are associated with stark differences in life expectancy after 50," the report states" - very important that


"It echoes other recent research suggesting that social mobility has stagnated, and concludes that "people's occupational and economic destinations in early adulthood depend to an important degree on their origins". Achieving the "equality of opportunity" that all political parties aspire to is very hard when there are such wide differences between the resources that people have to help them fulfil their diverse potentials, the panel notes." - Also known as stating the bleedin obvious.

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