Income Inequality in the United Kingdom 2
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IncomeInequality in the United Kingdom
Thoughit ranks amongst the richest countries globally, at position six,United Kingdom is getting overwhelmed with the challenge ofinequality. Whilst the poorest families face the Britain’s measuresof austerity the most, the wealthy class continually see their incomerise higher day by day. Because of this, there has constantly been anincrease in the gap between the income gained by the rich and that ofthe poor, thereby, exacerbating income inequality (Oxfam 2014, 1).This situation is not in any way close to coming to an end rather,the gap that exists between the poor and the rich is widening evenfurther. This mainly results from wealth and income being in highconcentration at the top, while others at the bottom are facingconstantly worsening hard times.
GeraldCavendish family, the family currently considered the most affluentin the United Kingdom is having more wealth than the total of 6.3million people, a representation of 10 percent of the entirepopulation of the nation. While the family is at 7.9 billion, thetotal of the population has only 7 billion. A further analysisindicates that the top five families are richer than the poorest 20percent of the United Kingdom population. This gap is not to get anynarrower, for instance, between 1993 to 2011, the income for thelower 90 percent of the population increased by just 27 percent whilethat of the top 0.1 percent increased by about 101 percent (Oxfam2014, 2).
The other factor leading to this inequality isthe tax evasion by the various multibillion companies, which lead tolosses to the economy of the United Kingdom. Besides, the top earnersin the nation are currently having the largest cut on tax globally.Currently, the total accrued tax money that is missing is at 35billion Euros. Inasmuch as the government has stepped in to helpcrack down the various tax evaders, there is still the need to havean increase in accountability and transparency (Oxfam 2014, 2). Apoint to note, however, is that inequality has not just maimed the UKbut the rest of the world as well. For instance, the research showsthat for every ten people, seven confirmed living in countries thathave shown an increase in inequality within the past 30 years.
Theinequality that has become part of the nation is a very greatchallenge, which may not be very easy to overcome. A point worthnoting is that this situation, though may be very hard stamping out,it is very detrimental to the nation. With the increase ininequality, there is a rise of a vicious circle, whereby theconcentration of power and wealth is increasingly gettingconcentrated within just a handful of the population, with the restremaining behind. At worst, the inequality has led to the top havingcontrol over the government, in terms of policymaking (Oxfam 2014,3). With this, the eventual result is the rich influencing thepolicies in their favor for instance, they ensure they are leviedminimal tax.
Currently,for every five people in the UK, one is living under very abjectpoverty. In such a case, the people get to a point whereby they havecuts on public services and social security. To make the case worse,there has been a rise in the prices of basic commodities, promptingthe poor to have a cut on most of the needs. Even with the decline inunemployment in the nation, there is still an increase in jobinsecurity, and others getting wages that may barely help themacquire the basic needs (Oxfam 2014, 3). The policies of austerityare posing as the greatest threats to the nation now, which have ledto an increase in inequality and poverty levels. In case the trendcontinues as it is now, the fear is that well above 1.9 millionadults and 800,000 children could be living under poverty by the year2020. These are mainly resulting from the rich having control overthe welfare of the rest of the nation.
Oxfam. 17thMarch, 2014. A Tale of Two Britains:“The gap between rich and poor is growing- income and wealth areconcentrated at the top while those at the bottom face increasinglyhard times.” Oxfam Media Briefing. Accessed on 27thJune, 2015 from:http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/a-tale-of-two-britains-inequality-in-the-uk-314152.