Does inequality matter?
Posted by Matt Walker on February 1, 2010
Whether inequality matters or not is a big question and one that is central to modern politics. At AS level, students need to grasp the differences between Labour and Tory ideas, and this question is arguably central. At A2, the issue of equality features right across the study of ideology.
Last week, a government commissioned report stated that the rich-poor divide is wider than it was 40 years ago. The top 10% of the population have assets worth £853,000, whilst half the population earn less that £20,000 a year. The report also found that men on average earn more than women, Bangladeshi and Pakistani five year olds are developmentally four months behind their white counterparts, whilst the bottom 1 per cent of the population are on average nearly £4,000 in debt. The report stated that more needed to be done to achieve a level playing field or an equal starting point in life for everyone.
The report did state that all parties were agreed on this, but that is not entirely true. Various Labour ministers recently have pointed out that differences in wealth between families means that many children are automatically disadvantaged. A few weeks ago, however, David Cameron whilst acknowledging poverty as a factor, stated that it was "not the wealth of their upbringing but the warmth of their parenting" that mattered most.
As we would expect, the Labour Party emphasise class and inequalities in wealth as a barrier to equality, whilst the Conservatives stress the importance of the nuclear family.
Poverty or up-bringing? What do you think?
This entry was posted on February 1, 2010 at 5:00 am and is filed under Conservatism, Liberalism, Political Parties, Socialism. Tagged: Inequality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.