The UK has one of the largest gaps between the richest and the rest in the developed world. The average British worker is now paid just half of one per cent the amount that a major company’s chief executive will receive. And economists expect inequality to rise sharply in the next few years, as public spending cuts take effect and rising share and asset prices mean the rich get richer.
Differences in income have an obvious impact on the poorest. Just within London, a woman in Tower Hamlets can expect to stay healthy until the age of just fifty-four, which is eighteen fewer healthy years of life than her counterpart in Richmond.
But inequality harms us all. There is now a huge body of research showing that if you live in a country with high inequality, you more likely to suffer violence, less likely to trust other people, more likely to die early, to be obese, have mental health problems or turn to narcotics; and that this is the case even for the affluent.
With your help, The Equality Trust is tackling the causes of inequality. For example:
Our work with national and local government has led councils to reduce pay ratios, raise bottom pay and promote similar policies to private-sector suppliers and local employers.
Local Equality Trust groups have successfully campaigned for Fairness Commissions to be set up, resulting in policies to reduce inequality and tackle poverty.
We have influenced the debate on why the UK has such a low level of social mobility – the government’s commission on the subject is now recommending measures to reduce inequality.
Now is a crucial time for more action.
Political parties are preparing for a general election in 2015, and we intend to make inequality an issue that the parties have to address in their manifestos.
A documentary film of The Spirit Level is planned for release in 2015, which we will use to focus public and political attention on the scale and effects of UK inequality.
We will campaign on key drivers of inequality, such as the grossly unequal pay in private companies providing public services.
We will build on our work with other organisations, from think-tanks to religious groups, that is already growing an alliance against excessive inequality
We can only do all this with your help.
To support us in these projects, we would like to ask you to please consider making a regular contribution to The Equality Trust.
We rely on donations to continue our work, and a regular contribution from you would allow us deliver more of the persistent campaigns that we know make a difference.