The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for forty years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said in a report. Full report here
Since 1970, area rates of poverty and wealth in Britain have changed significantly. Britain is moving back towards levels of inequality in wealth and poverty last seen more than 40 years ago. Over the last 15 years, more households have become poor, but fewer are very poor. Even though there was less extreme poverty, the overall number of 'breadline poor' households increased – households where people live below the standard poverty line. This number has consistently been above 17 per cent, peaking at 27 per cent in 2001 . Already-wealthy areas have tended to become disproportionately wealthier.
There is evidence of increasing polarisation, where rich and poor now live further apart. In areas of some cities over half of all households are now breadline poor. Both poor and wealthy households have become more and more geographically segregated from the rest of society. 'Average' households (neither poor nor wealthy) have been diminishing in number and gradually disappearing from London and the south east. Poor, rich and average households became less and less likely to live next door to one another between 1970 and 2000. As both the poor and wealthy have become more and more clustered in different areas
While in another BBC report , the Centreforum research paper , Tackling Educational Inequality , wants the funds (£2.4 billion) schools in England get to teach pupils from disadvantaged homes to be doubled .
It said low attainment too often stemmed from children's backgrounds, not their abilities.
"Britain is a bastion of educational inequality," said Paul Marshall, chairman of Centreforum, an independent liberal think tank. "The die is cast at an early age and rather than recast the die, the English educational system tends steadily to reinforce the advantages of birth."
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