The Equality Trust responds to Sir Keir Starmer’s First Speech As Prime Minister

The Equality Trust looks forward to working constructively with the new government and would like to congratulate them on a historic victory. After 14 years of austerity and the degradation of our public services, bold and urgent action is required from this Labour government. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in Europe. We have seen the wealth of UK billionaires increase by over £150 billion during the pandemic whilst child poverty has risen to 30%.     

We believe that reducing inequality should be this new government’s overarching mission. Everyone in the UK should have a good life and a more equal society is happier, healthier and more cohesive.  

We welcome the new government’s commitment to commencing the socio-economic duty in the Equality Act 2010 and, with the right implementation, believe this is a necessary step towards significantly reducing inequality across the UK. Whilst we welcome measures outlined in Labour’s plan such as closing the private equity capital gains loophole, we would like to see this new government go much further. Measures such as equalising capital gains tax to the level of income tax, introducing a 2% wealth tax on asset wealth over £10 million and applying National Insurance to investment income could raise over £50 billion per year to fund public services. 

This government has promised change – we hope that this will be the bold change required to substantially reduce inequalities of wealth, income and power. To ensure that the change promised delivers structural benefits for all, and doesn’t simply open up new channels of extraction for the already wealthy to exploit, we call on the Labour Party to embed inclusive participatory governance. We would like to see the adoption of co-production practices with communities involved in agenda-setting, participatory budgeting, implementation and monitoring of climate policies. We call on them to ensure the participation of youth, trade unions, feminist organisations, racial justice organisations, people with disabilities, the working class, and other marginalised groups in the development of these policies to ensure existing inequalities do not widen.

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