Letter: Inequality is harming our society
Date published: 26 February 2018
The Equality Trust
The UK is one of the most economically unequal countries in the developed world, but inequality is not inevitable.
The Government has a powerful tool at its disposal. It could bring to life the Socio-Economic Duty of Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires public bodies to adopt effective and transparent policies to reduce the inequalities that result from socio-economic disadvantage.
The international evidence shows that inequality harms physical and mental health, self-esteem, happiness, sense of trust and civic participation. Unequal societies have less social mobility and tend to have higher crime rates.
The most recent data has shown a slight fall in income inequality as a result of extremely low levels of income growth since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007/08.
However, this trend is likely to be reversed when scheduled social security cuts take effect, leading the IFS to predict a 50% rise in child poverty by 2020. Meanwhile, falling or stagnant incomes and growing house prices in the last decade are increasing wealth inequality.
Despite being passed by Parliament in 2010, successive governments since then have failed to bring Section 1 into force.
Concerned readers can join campaigners from Just Fair and The Equality Trust, and lobby their Member of Parliament to support Early Day Motion 591 at:
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.
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