A recently published book by Danny Dorling entitled “Inequality and the 1%” explains how the rich have found new ways of protecting their wealth whilst everyone else has suffered the penalties of austerity. But inequality is more than just economics. Being born outside the 1% has a dramatic impact on a person’s potential: reducing life expectancy, limiting education and work prospects, and even affecting mental health. Below is an extract.
In 2011/12, the average couple without children in the UK took home £442 a week from earnings just under £23,000 – see Fig 1.1 below. In the middle of the income distribution, people pay as much tax as they tend to receive in benefits. The poorest tenth of households in the UK have almost no income from earnings of from a private pension (these figures include households with only pensioners). They rely entirely on the state to survive. Taking into account benefits, a couple who both qualify for state pensions will receive about £222 a week if the £1.75 pension credit they are entitled to is also claimed. These are the best-off childless couples among the poorest 10 per cent of the households in Britain, living on £11,500 a year. As Fig 1.1 shows, they survive on about a fifth of the weekly earnings of an average childless couple in the best-off 10 per cent.