Equality Trust Responds To Budget 2017

The Chancellor, today, delivered a budget which unveiled some targeted spending and reforms addressing the immediate pressing issues of the NHS, Universal Credit and housing. Any good news, however, was rather overshadowed by the bad news on productivity and economic growth. It seems clear that the UK is not going to be able to deliver progress on economic and social inequality – and our shaming levels of poverty – by efficiency and growth alone. Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust commented:

“What we really need is a fundamentally more equitable distribution of income and wealth in the UK. In the run-up to this budget The Equality Trust has highlighted the fact that the richest 1,000 people in the UK have as much wealth as the poorest 40% of households. Between 2016 and 2017, they increased their wealth by a staggering £82.5 billion. This is the very large elephant in the room. The money to improve the UK already exists, it’s just overly concentrated in the hands of a very few people. Until this this gross injustice is remedied we will all suffer a far worse quality of life than is necessary.

Today’s budget, while including some positives, was not nearly radical enough in addressing our deep-seated and extreme inequality. What is really needed is a comprehensive Inequality Reduction Strategy to be embedded across all government departments that seeks to turn us from being one of the most unequal of developed world countries into one of the most equal. Until this is done, we look set to remain a land of Food Banks and Ferraris for some time yet.”

Notes to editors

The Equality Trust is a registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic and social inequality. UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this results in poorer mental and physical health, higher violent crime, poorer educational outcomes and lower levels of trust. Inequality affects us all. For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact info@equalitytrust.org.uk