Radio package created for Vox Radio (Featured by AudioBoo)
The government need to do more to curb rising income inequality across the UK, according to a new report published by Oxfam last week.
The charity condemned the government for cutting services for the poor, calling for an increase in progressive tax rates and a clamp down on offshore tax havens used by the rich elite.
Today, the five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population.
“There is global recognition that inequality is undermining our ability to achieve the social and environmental goals we want to accomplish,” said Faiza Shaheen, senior researcher at the new economics foundation.
The think tank argues that we should tackle inequality at a grassroots level, and calls for more to be done at an earlier stage to ensure people are paid a fair wage.
Adam Memon, head of economic research at Central Policy Research said the solution is not taxing the rich more.
“The vast majority of people, whether you’re on the right or left wing, want to reduce income inequality – It’s clearly a bad thing.
“If we’re looking to reduce income inequality it’s far more important to reduce the tax burden on those with lower incomes,” he added.
Last month, a study by TUC showed that in the last three years the gap between the top 10% and bottom 10% of earners in London rose by almost 5%.
In the last two decades the richest 0.1% has seen their income grow by more than £24,000 a year across the UK.
In comparison, the bottom 90 per cent experienced a real terms increase of less than £150 a year.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This growing pay gap is bad news for our economy and bad news for living standards.
“The picture is particularly bleak in London and the South East, but in areas like the Midlands, the North West and the East of England, a significant gulf has developed between top and bottom earners.
“Unless this trend stops now and more high-skilled jobs with decent pay are created, this worrying pattern is likely to become even more entrenched.”