Poverty + Inequality in UK
In the UK over 13 million people live in poverty. That’s one in five who have to choose between switching on the heating or buying enough food to put a meal on the table.
Britain is the fifth richest country in the world – so how did this happen? Inequality and an inflexible benefit system make it difficult for families in the UK to break the poverty cycle. Designed in the 1960’s the benefit system is unable to cope with the part-time work and temporary contracts so commonplace today.
Inequality is rife and many don’t get the opportunity to flourish. Take a look at exam results: Children living in poverty here still do far worse at school than wealthier children.
Since 2002 the poorest tenth have become £9 a week poorer (a lot if you can barely get by). While the richest tenth have £94 more a week.
And that includes people who have jobs. There are hundreds of thousands of people in paid work who are struggling to get by. People who make a huge contribution to society like care workers, class room assistants that end up juggling two or three jobs just to make ends meet.
The fact that it’s so hard to escape the poverty trap doesn’t mean the problem is big – it means it’s endemic.
A Robin Hood tax could help us create the society we all wish to live in. We may be in the shadow of recession, but we shouldn’t wait until recovery dawns to fight poverty.
The Robin Hood Tax could raise billions every year to help fight poverty in the UK. It could help end child poverty, reform the welfare system, end fuel poverty and protect frontline services.