From the TUC

A social mobility White Paper: fair chances in an unequal society?

13 Jan 2009, by in Society & Welfare

All of the international evidence shows that enabling social mobility is contingent upon reducing inequality. Where the rich and the poor are more equal, the advantages conferred by wealth are less and the barriers to progression are reduced. To quote the OECD, most recently in November of last year:

Countries with more equal incomes…tend also to have greater differences in earnings between fathers and sons: Denmark, Finland and Norway. Conversely, there is less earnings mobility between generations in countries where income inequality is higher: Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

But today’s 108 page White Paper on social mobility ignores these findings. It only refers to class inequality twice, makes no reference to its central role preventing mobility and proposes a strategy based upon improving public services. While these proposals may lead to a range of helpful new funding streams, this spending will come at the cost of an honest debate about the economic and political choices which continue to support a status quo where inequality and unequal chances are inevitable.

2 Responses to A social mobility White Paper: fair chances in an unequal society?

  1. Social mobility is a slippery concept | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Jan 13th 2009, 5:50 pm

    […] mobility is a slippery concept Posted at 5:50 pm on 13 Jan 09 by Nigel As Nicola says, today’s social mobility White Paper has many good policies, but the more equal a […]

  2. Improving social mobility – are education and skills the answer? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Jan 13th 2009, 6:55 pm

    […] Fulfilling the potential of each and every citizen in the new global economy is writ large throughout the document and a quick word search finds 72 instances of the word potential.  Interestingly, the word inequality is only cited seven times!  But for much more on the relationship between social mobility and inequality – and the current political debate – see the two incisive posts today by Richard and Nicola. […]