The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church are not usually known for their radicalism so it's surprising they published a joint report this month titled 'The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty'. It is authoritative, eloquent and debunks the nonsense I pointed out in this blog last week. In the light of yesterday's budget it includes this comment:
'The Quantitative Easing programme has increased the personal wealth of the UK’s richest fi fth of families by enough to pay for Jobseeker’s Allowance for over a century.'
Full Fact supports the Labour Party's claim that people with an income over £1m a year can expect an additional tax cut of £100,000 a year from 6th April.
Last Friday Ruth Levitas, Professor of Sociology at Bristol University gave a seminar at Durham University, one of her slides showed how the wealth of the country is distributed between income groups:
The data is easier to understand as graphs. This is what the distribution looked like in 1972/1973 when income distribution was at its most equal in the UK during the 20th century.
Ruth Levitas published the same data in her paper 'The Just’s Umbrella: Austerity and the Big Society in Coalition policy and beyond' University of Bristol, UK, 2012. In the paper she suggests that if it chose to the Government could easily pay off the deficit by taxing the super wealthy instead of cutting welfare benefits or public services.
Ahead of the budget this week the New Statesman agreed: