Income inequality damages all of us.
That’s the message a Swindon group promoted by Swindon Equality Group in the Brunel Arcade recently.
Based on the principles of the best-selling book ‘The Spirit Level’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett and affiliated to The Equality Trust, the Swindon Equality Group was formed a year ago to raise awareness and the shocking facts of the differences between the richest and poorest, and the challenging questions facing society.
“The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world,” said group member Tom Wilkes, right.
“The average pay for top directors is £4.5 million per year but relative earnings for most people in the UK are only 1p per hour higher than they were in 2003.
“People in more equal societies live longer, have better mental health and have better chances for a good education regardless of their background.
“Community life is stronger where the income gap is narrower, children do better at school and they are less likely to become teenage parents. When inequality is reduced people trust each other more, there is less violence and rates of imprisonment are lower.”
The group believes that the individual is now powerless to prevent the wealth gap in society, which is now comparable to the 1920s, getting even wider.
Their first target is to encourage Swindon employers to pay the Living Wage (currently set at just £7.65 per hour) rather than the statutory minimum wage. In April Nationwide, one of the largest employers in Swindon, made the commitment to pay this figure.
To join the group, or find out more, mail Tom at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the video explaining inequality in the UK: equalitytrust.org.uk