Income inequality fell in Labour’s final year

New statistics show that income inequality fell in Labour's final year in office. The final set of data show that income inequality was flat over Labour's time in office.

New statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that income inequality, measured by the gini coefficient, fell in Labour’s final year in office.  The final set of data show that income inequality was flat over Labour’s time in office although inequality in retired households closed considerably over the period.


The ONS press release says:

“Inequality of income increased in the late 1980s and late 1990s, and on average has remained at broadly the same level since. Smaller changes in the level of inequality are observed in the period from 1990s to date. The Gini coefficient for disposable income in 2009/10 was 33 per cent, a fall of one percentage point on its 2008/09 value, therefore indicating a fall in inequality of income.

“The fall in inequality was driven mainly by retired households, for whom inequality fell by two percentage points in the latest period, and by three percentage points between 2007/08 and 2009/10. Further ONS analysis of the effects that taxes and benefits have had on inequality since the 1980s is planned for publication in June 2011.”

While the reduction of child and pensioner poverty was a key aim of Labour’s time in office, the party never made income inequaltiy an explicit goal.

15 Responses to “Income inequality fell in Labour’s final year”

  1. Max

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8

  2. Chris Goulden

    RT @leftfootfwd New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 < just minor #wobbles, no struct. change

  3. Underthebed

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8

  4. jennifer roberts

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8

  5. Lisa Ansell

    RT @leftfootfwd New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 < just minor #wobbles, no struct. change

  6. Boris Watch

    RT @leftfootfwd …income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 < 'the people who lost money on shares were rich'?

  7. CAROLE JONES

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 Well that won't happen again now!

  8. Pan African Ugandan

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8

  9. Alasdair Thompson

    RT @leftfootfwd New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 < just minor #wobbles, no struct. change

  10. DrKMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: New stats show income inequality fell in Labour's final year: //bit.ly/ky31w8 via @UKactivist

  11. Laurence Turner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Income inequality fell in Labour's final year //t.co/J0Cz7nn

  12. Chris

    Income inequality generally does fall when the economy contracts, especially when retired people get their savings wiped out.

  13. 13eastie

    If you destroy the value of the assets people have striven to acquire (homes, pensions, securities, savings) those without them get “richer” and “happier”.

    Which must be why Gordon Brown just kept on getting re-elected as PM.

  14. Dave Citizen

    Interesting how even the most unhelpful statistics can support a headline if one looks hard enough.

    Focussing on a fall in inequality in Labour’s last year without putting it in its context of Britain’s extreme inequality is like talking about a smoker’s success in cutting down their habit …… from 50 to 49 per day!

  15. Will Straw

    Thanks for the comments:

    Chris, 13eastie – income inequality looks at income, not wealth or assets. The fall in pensioner inequality is likely to be down to bringing forward the increase in the state pension and the increase in the Christmas bonus. Both were part of the Darling/Brown stimulus package so a consequence of the recession but not due to it directly.

    Dave Citizen – I think the graph quite clearly puts the figures in context. It shows the huge increase under Thatcher and then the flattening under Labour. While far from perfect, what’s interesting is how Britain did very much better than other OECD countries over the last 15 years: //bit.ly/kR8Ka9 (Fig 1.2)

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