Inequality, Its Persistence and Its Costs
Increasing inequality was a deliberate policy of the Thatcher governments, marking a significant shift in UK policy-making. The strategy was supported by strong vested interests and active myth-making that stigmatized both social spending and its recipients. The legacy of Thatcherism has been powerful and persistent, leading to an acceptance of the increased inequality and a lack of challenge to its proponents and beneficiaries. There now appears to be a growing challenge to this acquiescence from many quarters including the churches and, surprisingly, the IMF, as well as many more detailed analyses of the wide differences in income and wealth. The arguments against increased inequality have strengthened again, bolstered by growing evidence of exploitation of the tax system, but is the political will strong enough to bring about significant changes?
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