Equality Trust Response to Labour Manifesto

Dr. Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, said: 

“Given the scale of policies announced, it is impossible to evaluate the likely overall impact on inequality. However, plans to increase taxes on the richest 5% would almost certainly reduce inequality, and it is positive to see proposals such as a long-overdue review of council tax, which is hopelessly regressive. 

“Raising the minimum wage to £10 by 2020 may well reduce inequality by boosting low incomes. However, it could simply increase unemployment, which would drastically increase inequality. Much would depend on how businesses react to it. Similarly, while many will support a call for free higher education, abolishing tuition fees would represent a significant redistribution of income to better off households.

“Promises of an extra £2bn a year to restructure Universal Credit will unfortunately still leave many poorer households facing significant cuts to their incomes. We would like to see a more generous form of Universal Credit, with a withdrawal rate of 55p rather than 65p of every additional pound. 

“There are undoubtedly some extremely positive policy proposals in this manifesto that would help to reduce inequality. However, we believe there could, and should, be a stronger, and more explicit commitment to reduce inequality.” 

The Equality Trust is a registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic 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