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For many years we have been told that wealth trickles down from the rich. However, this has been proven cataclysmically wrong. If the idea of trickle-down economics was true, then we would have a moderately equal society today, with even the poorest having a decent share of the country’s wealth.
If our economy was represented by £100, the bottom 20% of earners would hold just 60p between them – 0.6% of the UK’s total wealth. The richest 20% in our country hold 100 times more wealth than the bottom 20%.
The UK’s wealthiest 1% are so rich that they own as much wealth as 60% of the population. The vast inequality that is present in our country is a grotesque and shameful example of the failure of our economy to provide for the poorest in our society.
In terms of the party political broadcast from Labour, they seem to be the only party ready to fight inequality. The Conservatives are conspicuously supporting the people at the top, at the expense of the people at the bottom, whilst UKIP blame other poor people and migrants for the problems the UK is experiencing. It seems Labour seem to be the only party highlighting the issue causing the biggest problem in our society today. Inequality.
This broadcast spotlights the problem not through statistics, but through real people and their experiences in modern day Britain. Both of the families highlighted, despite being in work, are struggling due to the effects of the UK’s grotesquely unequal and unfair distribution of wealth.
Child poverty is a subject that is also seldom mentioned by the Conservatives, probably because the figures show their shameful record on tackling it. 3.7 million children are in child poverty, which equates to 20% of all children within our country. A projected increase to 4.3 million by 2020.
Whilst the Conservatives speak about being the party of ‘aspiration’, they are neglecting the fact that by 2020, 4.3 million children’s only aspiration will be to have barely enough to live in a decent and stable environment. For one of the richest countries in the world, to have so many children living in abject poverty, is an utter disgrace. This is not what’s best for Britain.
So, what do the Tories say is the answer to poverty? Jobs.
The Tories claim that employment is all you need to pull your families out of poverty. Yet 64% of children already in poverty are in a family where at least one parent is in work. Jobs are not the answer when wages are shambolically low, and the price of essential items – housing, energy, food, and transport – are inexcusably unaffordable.
What Labour seem to understand is the fact that poverty does not cease with employment. They, in this broadcast, have highlighted the need for job security and a real living wage that allows people to lift themselves out of poverty. What the broadcast provides is the truth about how poverty should be tackled. Instead of taking £4.6bn in tax credit cuts from people in work, Labour say they will invest in those people’s lives and aspirations.
Housing, however, is the big issue in this broadcast. Whilst our country has 630,000 unoccupied houses, 81,000 families are homeless, and almost 4 million working families are just one missed paycheck away from losing their home.
Furthermore, 36% of families were forced to cut back on food and basic needs in order to pay for rents or mortgages, with 66% of private renters unable to save anything towards a deposit.
Labour are proposing rent controls and caps in order to prevent the situations shown in the broadcast from happening in the first place.
On average, the UK is presently building 140,000 houses per annum. However, demand for housing rises each year by approximately 250,000. Therefore, the shortage of housing is increasing massively, leading to inflated prices and the destruction of home ownership as an aspiration. Labour’s plans to build more housing would help to eliminate the crisis we see today.