IFS and Nuffield Foundation launch landmark review of UK inequality
The IFS and Nuffield Foundation have launched a landmark review of inequalities in the UK. The review will be chaired by Sir Angus Deaton, who wants to highlight the ‘the risk of the UK following the US’, which has extreme inequality levels in pay, wealth and health.
An introductory report, published on 14 May 2019, Inequalities in the twenty-first century: introducing the IFS Deaton Review, aims ‘to illustrate the breadth of the review and the importance of the types of questions it will address’. The review aims to understand the breadth of the different kinds of inequality: ‘not just of income, but of health, wealth, political participation, and opportunity; and not just between rich and poor but by gender, ethnicity, geography, age and education’.
It will then identify the ‘big forces that combine to create’ these inequalities, looking at technological change, globalisation, and the rise in market product concentration. It will then identify ‘policy responses’, assessing their relative merits, and aiming to ‘equip policymakers with the knowledge and tools to tackle those inequalities’.
Highlighting one area of inequality, the report shows that in the UK, ‘deaths of despair’ (deaths from suicide and drug- and alcohol-related issues) have more than doubled among men since the early 1990s. Speaking at the launch of the review, Deaton made clear that these rates are ‘geographically unequal’, as ‘Blackpool seems to be a hotspot and the north east, but not very much in London’.
The report states:
‘The deepening economic and social divides have led some to question whether inequality will lead to a crisis of capitalism … With support for populist candidates rising … some question whether inequality may pose a threat not just to capitalism but also to our democratic system.’
Read Inequalities in the twenty-first century: introducing the IFS Deaton Review here.