IFS: Brown “mitigated” income inequality

The Institute for Fiscal Studies this morning gave its verdict on Labour’s inequality record. In a spoof of the Conservative party poster depicting a grinning Gordon Brown and the caption, “I increased the gap between rich and poor – vote for me”, the IFS suggested that the former Labour Prime Minister had “mitigated” the rise in income inequality.

Presenting a slide show with key findings on the Labour government’s record including the latest data from 2008/09, Senior Research Economist Ali Muriel outlined that – although inequality was now at its second highest level ever – it would have been “even higher without changes to the tax and benefit system since 1996-97”. Simulations by the IFS for the Mirrlees Review found that the Gini coefficient measure of inequality “would be 0.03 higher if the tax and benefit system had simply been uprated in line with RPI”.

Published today, “Poverty and Inequality in the UK: 2010“, concluded that:

• living standards have surprisingly risen despite the recession due to discretionary increases in the tax and benefits system, and modest rises in earnings;

• Income inequality is largely unchanged although there is some evidence that income growth at the very top of the distribution was low or negative;

• As outlined by Kayte Lawton on Left Foot Forward yesterday, relative poverty fell 100,000 to 2.8 million on the Government’s preferred before housing costs measure while pensioner poverty fell 200,000; and

• Poverty amongst working-age adults without dependent children is at its highest level since the start of our comparable series in 1961.

Mr Muriel concluded by projecting that the interim child poverty target to halve child poverty by 2010 was likely to be missed by 0.6 million. Under current trends it is expected to rise again to 3.1 million by 2020. The report also found that poverty has fallen most under Labour in Scotland and the North East but risen in the Midlands.

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32 Responses to “IFS: Brown “mitigated” income inequality”

  1. mike prenton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  2. James Young

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  3. Jude Shirres

    YES! RT Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  4. Jude Shirres

    YES! RT @leftfootfwd Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  5. Political Scrapbook

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe << hilarious!

  6. Evidence Matters

    Yes, that is the issue w/ accuracy 🙂 rt @FactCheck If [we] made posters, this is what they might look like http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  7. Sarah Brown

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe << hilarious!

  8. Lucy Chapman

    @BobJohns I saw this and thought of you: IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/dwFRMq

  9. FactCheck

    If @factcheck made posters, this is what they might look like http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  10. Andrew Tindall

    RT @FactCheck: If @factcheck made posters, this is what they might look like http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  11. Evidence Matters

    Yes, that is the issue w/ accuracy 🙂 rt @ FactCheck If [we] made posters, this is what they might look like http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  12. Justin Baidoo

    RT @FactCheck: If @factcheck made posters, this is what they might look like http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  13. Ellie Gellard

    Brown mitigated income inequality. Great from @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  14. Noelinho

    RT @msgracefh: RT @BevaniteEllie: Brown mitigated income inequality. Great from @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  15. Neil Ritchie

    RT @BevaniteEllie: Brown mitigated income inequality. Great from @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  16. Lady J

    IFS, its a tard bit too late. You disgracefully kept silent or corroborated the myths of BG’s economic successes as failures, where you could have highlighted GB’s successes, you kept silent and tour the news/political programs, helping to destroy our former Prime Minister’s economic achievements. Shame on you.

  17. Rezina

    RT @Phelim: New Tory poster spoof… by the IFS! http://twitpic.com/1pqmj7 http://is.gd/cjjPH

  18. John Ruddy

    Gordon did do his bit for the poorest – unlike the previous Chancellor http://bit.ly/bPeYcy

  19. Ian Gibson

    RT @BevaniteEllie: Brown mitigated income inequality. Great from @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/bV22bp

  20. john locke

    ..”although inequality was now at its second highest level ever – it would have been “even higher without changes to the tax and benefit system since 1996-97″…. not a very good record after thirteen years is it?

  21. Will income inequality pass ‘mitigation’ stage? « My Political Ramblings

    […] for Fiscal Studies, Liberal Democrats, Living Wage, NI, ONS, poverty, Tax Credits, VAT The Institute for Fiscal Studies has reported that Blair and Brown ‘mitigated’ income inequality. This undermines the […]

  22. Man in Westminster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  23. Man in Westminster

    leftfootfwd Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  24. Man in Westminster

    Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe
    about 22 hours ago

  25. SadButMadLad

    “would be 0.03 higher if the tax and benefit system had simply been uprated in line with RPI”. Wow, a huge difference considering the Gini scale goes from 0 to 1.

    Another quote from the publication “the net effect … was to leave income inequality effectively unchanged and at historically high levels.”

    The Gini coefficient dipped a bit in 2003/4 but since 2005 has risen. Brown’s fault I suspect.

    Looking at the chart (pg30) it can be seen that Major managed to keep the Gini coefficient pretty stable as well. Only Thatcher caused the coefficient to rise spectacularly.

  26. max lawson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Using spoof poster, IFS conclude that Gordon Brown "mitigated" income inequality http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  27. Qadri Jilani

    Tory spoof posters lied. Inequality would have been worse under Tories. "IFS: Brown "mitigated" income inequality" http://bit.ly/cr7bHe

  28. Baig

    Reading the newspapers after Brown’s departure, parts of the (more sensible) media are acknowledging that Brown’s economic successes were grossly under reported in the media. In fact his leading and superb handling of the financial crisis was better reported by the media abroad than it was by the British. Remember that many European countries and even the States were timid in how to tackle it and Brown provided the bold and erudite leadership that the rest of the world followed.

    Now this is a remarkable achievement and you are meant to be immensely proud that your Prime Minister helped save the world economy but the media was not too bothered. Anything negative, on the other hand, would make breaking news for a whole day if not a week (especially if you watch Sky News).

    Oh yes, and it is also becoming accepted by all that he did have an emotional concern for the poor. I can tell you that I was no fan of Tony Blair and the overseas projects that he was working on with George Bush. Unlike Blair, I believe Brown was a man of integrity who had a genuine concern for making Britain fairer for all. Sadly, I think it ended a bit soon for him and that for the wrong reasons.

  29. FactCheck

    @rich_w though they may have to get used to ads like this http://bit.ly/bV22bp (courtesy of the IFS and @leftfootfwd)

  30. Jude Shirres

    @PennyRed @IainDale New Labour didn't do enough but they were a hell of a lot better than the Tories http://bit.ly/bV22bp

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