27/01/2010

Rich-Poor Gap At 1970s Levels

The divide between Britain's rich and poor is at its widest in 40 years, a government-backed report has found.

Pay and employment differences for men, women and minority groups remain "deep-seated and systemic", the National Equality Panel said.

Action is needed in neighbourhood renewal, taxes and education to counteract the challenges, according to the study.

Equalities Minister Harriet Harman said the findings required "sustained and focused action".

"But for the sake of the right of every individual to reach their full potential, for the sake of a strong and meritocratic economy and to achieve a peaceful and cohesive society, that is the challenge that must be met," she added.

The report highlighted instances of racial discrimination, namely employment opportunities for those from minority groups.

Those from minority backgrounds are still likely to be paid jobs than white men and women.

Founded in 2008, the panel's other assertions included a definite sex split on wages.

Women over 44, who are better qualified than men, still receive smaller pay packets.

Part time jobs are still mostly staffed by women, who earned a lesser median hourly rate.

"The challenge that our report puts down to all political parties is how do you create a level playing field when there are such large differences between the resources that different people have available to them," panel chair Professor John Hills, of the London School of Economics, told the BBC.

Theresa May, shadow minister for women and equalities, said: "Labour has had a one-dimensional approach, looking at the symptoms, not the causes. For example, one in six children are growing up in a workless household. We need policies that can make equality a reality."

(PR/GK)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 April 2012
Men Pay More For Life Insurance
Men across the UK are paying far more for their life insurance than women, accordng to new research. Men are paying an average of 26% more per policy, per year. To make matters worse, Confused.com reveals that a shocking 1 in 4 men never shop around for anything better.
17 February 2004
UK sees 20% increase in multiple births over 10 years
Mothers are having 20% more multiple births than they were a decade ago, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Statistics have revealed that in 2002, the multiple birth rate was 15 per 1,000 women giving birth, compared with 12.5 in 1992.
19 August 2014
New Data Shows Women Hit By 'Mid-Life Pay Crisis'
Female managers over 40 years old are earning 35% less than men, according to new data by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR. To earn the same as a male manager over a career, a woman would have to work the equivalent of over 14 years more.
04 October 2013
Men Over 50 Are Less Likely To Know Symptoms Of Cancer
Men over 50 are less likely to know symptoms of serious diseases and have a worse diet than women, according to a new study released today by Saga Health Insurance who surveyed almost 12,000 over-50s.
04 March 2009
EU Launches Campaign To Tackle Gender Pay Gap
The European Commission has launched an EU-wide campaign to help tackle the gender pay gap. Across the EU economy, women earn on average 17.4% less than men.