While the recent recession and ‘recovery’ have meant economic hardship and uncertainty for the majority, the VERY rich have got relatively richer.
Before looking at things sociologically (looking at the bigger picture) I’d just llike to say THANKS AGAIN TO THE BBC* for another excellent example of narrow-reporting which fosters false consciousness – This item reminds us that the levels of income inequality have fallen – if we compare the top fifth with the bottom fith of households over the last year.
HOWEVER…. If we look at how the incomes of the top one percent and top ten percent compare to other slices of the population further down the social-class spectrum, a picture of INCREASING INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE UK EMERGES
This article from The Guardian summarises the situation –
The super-rich – the top 1% of earners – now pocket 10p in every pound of income paid in Britain, while the poorest half of the population take home only 18p of every pound between them, according to a report published this week by the Resolution Foundation thinktank, which reveals the widening gap between those at the very top and the rest of society.
Inequality has grown sharply over the past 15 years, according to Resolution’s analysis: the top 1% of earners have seen their slice of the pie increase from 7% in the mid-1990s to 10% today, while the bottom half have seen their share drop from 19% to 18%.
This post from the Guerilla Policy Network offers a nice summary of the lates UN Human Development Report which highlights the following facts –
- The UK’s poorest 40% share in just 14.6% of the national wealth – the only country performing worse was Russia (96)
- The richest 20% have incomes more than ten times as high as the bottom 20%, this is the same as Nigeria, and worse than Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and twice as bad as Sri Lanka and Ethiopia (96)
- As inequality in the UK has risen, intergenerational mobility (children ‘doing better’ than their parents) has also declined (2013 p36)
- The majority of working people have had little or no wage increases in recent decades, while the top earners have seen substantial increases (2013 p22)
For those of you who prefer Infographics to illustrate inequality, here is one from the equality trust (love their work – ‘gis a job!)
*(Seriously, thankyou, without you, BBC, teaching concepts such as ideological control, agenda setting, and false consciousness is just so easy.)