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The Equality Trust responds to ‘inequality budget’

Today the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, delivered a tax-cutting budget that benefits the very richest, in yet another blow for the rest of us suffering the impacts of the cost of inequality scandal that we face in the UK. Kwarteng’s statement provided scant support for the majority of households in the UK, bar the Energy Price Guarantee, and it is clear that the Government has no plans to make sure that ordinary people can make ends meet – whilst enabling the very rich get even richer. 

By reversing the National Insurance rise, halting the planned increase to our low Corporation Tax rates, abolishing the top rate of income tax and lifting the cap on bankers’ bonuses – alongside record borrowing to prop up our fossil fuel-based energy market and shore up energy company profits – the Chancellor is presiding over a redistribution of the UK’s wealth to those at the top. 

If this Government really wanted to improve quality of life in the UK it would raise taxes on extreme wealth, further regulate executive pay, commence the Socio-economic Duty and invest in long term, structural changes to the UK’s economy – such as renewable energy and affordable childcare and housing. 

Jo Wittams, Co-Executive Director of The Equality Trust commented: 

“This bankers’ budget is disappointing but not unexpected given Prime Minister Liz Truss’ seeming embrace of structural poverty and excessive CEO pay. The stark reality of the cost of inequality is a country where nurses’ pay has decreased in real terms by over £4000 since 2010 (TUC, 2022), whilst FTSE CEOs had an eye watering 39% pay rise in 2021 – with the average FTSE CEO now being paid £3.4m (High Pay Centre, 2022). 

If this Government is truly concerned about those they should serve, they would listen to the 67% of British public who agree that ordinary working people do not get their fair share of the UK’s wealth (NatCen, 2022) and commit to investing in an economy that works for all, not just the richest.

High and entrenched socioeconomic inequality means higher levels of violent crime, poorer mental health and lower levels of trust – until inequality reduction is at the heart of policy making, we will see little progress on tackling some of the major problems that the UK faces.”


Notes to editors 

1 – The Socio-economic Duty is Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010, which would require public bodies to pay due regard to reducing the equalities of outcome that result from socio-economic disadvantage. 

2 – The Equality Trust is the national registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by dismantling structural inequalities of income, wealth and power. For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Jo Wittams on 0754 6316 419,