30 years of ‘Market knows best’ have damaged fairness
The final report of the National Equalities Panel (NEP), “An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK” is out today – you can download the full thing or exec summary from the Government Equalities Office website. It’s an exceptional piece of work, describing in graphic detail just how unfair and unequal our society has become thanks to ‘market knows best’ policies.
This sad story began in the 1980s when inequality really took hold, but even in recent years the best that can be said is that it hasn’t got any worse. We have now tested to destruction the theory that wealth trickles down – it doesn’t. Instead growing inequality destabilises the wider economy, leaves a substantial proportion living in real poverty and undermines the social cohesion that provides a large part of what makes for a good fulfilling life.
It cannot be right that as we look to rebuild our economy, a non-English name can still count against someone on their CV and that the only group of women to have any career progression in wages when they reach their 30s are highly qualified public sector workers.
The super-rich and powerful have a vested interest in closing down any debate about inequality by talking of the ‘politics of envy’ or ‘core vote strategies’. But inequality damages the economy and society for the vast majority of the population. Politicians of every party must now meet the challenge set by this devastating analysis.