Frank Little

Councillor for East Central ward on Coedffranc Town Council Learn more

Income inequality

by franklittle on 5 December, 2011

Thanks to Mark Valladares a fellow LibDem councillor in England for this observation, inspired by a new report (Tax and the coalition: fairness and responsibility?) : “There is a valid debate to be had in terms of how fair our tax system already is, and the Gini coefficient (a measure of a population’s overall income inequality) for the United Kingdom demonstrates the impact of, amongst other things, how government action has impacted on income inequality since 1961. It tells a tale of relative stability until the arrival of the Thatcher administration in 1979, when the coefficient value went from 0.25 then, to 0.37 in 1992 (the measure is on a scale between 0 (no inequality) to 1 (think Russian plutocracy). Through the Major and Blair years, it stabilised again, before resuming its upward trajectory as Blair handed over to Brown. By 2009, it stood at 0.41.” (My emphasis.)

Two conclusions occur to me: firstly, that the Blair administration made no attempt to reduce the gap; and secondly, that the current leader of the Labour party and the shadow chancellor, both key members of the Brown team, should recognise their part in expanding the gap before criticising current pay settlements in the City.

The coalition government has recognised public disquiet, and Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, has announced that there will be legal measures to ensure that excessive executive pay increases will no longer go unchallenged.

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