I can’t really say I’m shocked by the news in the Guardian that the income gap between rich and poor has widened in the UK, and has reached the greatest level since modern records began in the 1960s. The gap has worsened in particular since Labour’s last election victory in 2005 with income for the rich rising and that of the poor actually falling. 15% of UK pupils are now eligible for free school meals, meaing their household income is below £15,575. Inflation has seen 20% of the UK population with the lowest incomes seeing income cuts of 2.6% in real terms, while the richest saw their income rise by 3.3%. Attempts to end child poverty have had little impact. 11 million adults – about one in six -live below the poverty line. These are staggering statistics. During a decade of sustained economic growth, the poor have actually suffered declining living standards, both relative to the rich, and more recently in real terms.
Worse is the most damming statistic imaginable for a Labour government
As a result, income inequality at the end of Labour’s 11th year in power was higher than at any time during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
What can you say about that?