We all know that inequality in this country is rife and that the super-rich have been getting richer while ordinary folk have been left to struggle, with wages never recovering in the wake of the financial crash, writes Gloria De Piero MP.
Now research from The Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed that the UK’s richest one per cent of people is overwhelmingly male, as well as generally being based in London and the south east.
This is no surprise really, but it is important to note, especially when you look at who is in Government.
Those in the top one per cent are geographically concentrated in a small number of Parliamentary constituencies – with the majority of these being Tory seats in London and the area surrounding the capital.
Compare this to Ashfield, which houses only the tiniest fraction of the country’s highest-earning individuals.
Incidentally, only 17 per cent of the areas with the fewest members of the ‘top one per cent’ are represented by Tory MPs.
What these figures tell us is just how unequal the distribution of wealth in this country is and how, in my view, the Government continues to facilitate this gap.
While in Government, I feel the Conservatives has done too much to protect the very highest earners, while the vulnerable in society have suffered.
Tax advantages for partners in powerful firms and business owners have been introduced, enabling them to pay lower tax rates than what they would pay on a salary – a policy choice which provides substantial tax breaks to some of the highest-paid people.
Do those working for hedge funds, business consultants and other financial and professional services need any more of a leg up?
Labour would address these injustices by tackling regional inequality with the setting up of a national fund for capital investment in the regions.
It would also introduce a fairer tax system to make the top earners pay more and clamp down on tax loopholes exploited by the super-rich.
I think it is clear that only Labour will prioritise the ordinary people living in places like Ashfield.