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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Government must act to prevent worsening inequality

The Guardian reports on a study by the respect Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank suggesting Britain risks entrenching deep class, ethnic, gender, educational, generational and geographical divides unless the government acts to tackle inequality. They believe that the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to make life worse for the most vulnerable groups:

The IFS said it was not inevitable the crisis would exacerbate inequality but said that would be the outcome in the absence of better education and training, moves to ensure the survival of small businesses and the provision of catch-up lessons for children from poorer households.

The Covid-19 report – part of a five-year IFS project on inequality – found that:
Robert Joyce, the deputy director at IFS, and an author of the report, said: “The crisis has laid bare existing inequalities and risks exacerbating them, but some of its legacies might also provide opportunities.”

Ministers should be laying the foundations for a strong and inclusive recovery as well as dealing with the immediate crisis, Joyce added.

“If, for example, we can limit now the severity of career disruption, the widening of health and educational inequalities, or the extent to which small firms that had a productive future are squeezed out by larger established competitors, policy’s job in years to come will be much less difficult than if it is trying to limit or undo the damage.”

Over to you, Prime Minister.
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