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UK failing across equality spectrum

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Different genders, ages and ethnicities across the UK are still feeling a lack of equality when it comes to their annual wages as the country falls behind rival democracies, a government commissioned report has revealed.

According to the National Equality Panel, “significant differences” are still rife among the country’s workforce and the problem lies with “deep-seated” social perceptions and diversities.

Presenting a wealth of damaging figures, the Panel found that women up to the age of 44 are better qualified than men on average but still earn 21% less in hourly pay, ethnic minorities are less likely to be employed than white British men and women.

But the headline-grabbing statistic was that the wealthiest 10% of Britain is currently 100 times better-off on average than the poorest 10%.

“We have now tested to destruction the theory that wealth trickles down – it doesn’t,” announced TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber.

Set up by ministers in 2008, the Panel has been charged with investigating and suggesting solutions to current inequality issues. As a consequence of the country’s current state, the Panel felt that generations would continue to suffer as wages were proportionate to house prices, which in turn dictate a child’s schooling and future possibilities to earn.

“Most people and nearly all political parties subscribe to the ideal of equality of opportunity,” said the Panel’s chairman, Professor John Hills.

“But advantage and disadvantage reinforce themselves over the life cycle. It is hard to argue that the large and systematic differences in outcomes which we document result from personal choices made against a background of equality of opportunity, however that is defined.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

February 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in LinkedIn

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