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The Legacy of ThatcherismAssessing and Exploring Thatcherite Social and Economic Policies$
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Stephen Farrall and Colin Hay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265703

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265703.001.0001

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Don’t Cut Down the Tall Poppies’: Thatcherism and the Strategy of Inequality

Don’t Cut Down the Tall Poppies’: Thatcherism and the Strategy of Inequality

(p.282) 9 Don’t Cut Down the Tall Poppies’: Thatcherism and the Strategy of Inequality
The Legacy of Thatcherism

Carol Walker

British Academy

This chapter looks at the impact of the range of polices on taxation and incomes, social security, and the social wage, which contributed to the unprecedented growth in poverty and inequality under the Thatcher administrations. It finds that despite the growth both in levels of poverty and in the gap between the rich and the poor, which occurred during her period office, key elements of the philosophy underpinning her strategy of inequality survived both through John Major’s premiership and, despite its commitment to reducing poverty, through the New Labour administrations. Her legacy can also be seen in the policies of the 2010 Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government, which looks set to preside again over both a growth in poverty and a growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Keywords:   Poverty, inequality, social security, benefit cuts

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