Friday, 13 January 2017

A2 Social Inequality - latest ONS report 2017

Has Social Inequality Been Getting Worse?

This article (published Tuesday 10th Jan 2017 on the BBC News website) reports a gradual decline in general trends of income inequality in the UK over the last decade using the Gini Coefficient published in the latest Office of National Statistics report on income inequality. Is this a reliable conclusion, or does this general trend mask some specific areas where income inequality is increasing though?

Jeremy Corbyn MP claims that income inequality is still a problem in our society. On Radio 4 he suggested that he would be in favour of an income cap to reduce income inequality.

What could be missing from the ONS analysis? Well, the data analysed looks at income, as opposed to wealth. This link to a DWP document (opens as .pdf) shows wealth inequality analysed with house prices taken into account. Even with this factored in, the only real difference is that it shows inequality increasing in 2013-14 (although this still does not return it to the high level of inequality that existed before the financial crisis in 2008).

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