Friday, 4 June 2010


     A recent study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found widening inequalities in all areas of life in Britain. The study, "Life in Britain: Using Millennial Census Data to Understand Poverty, Inequality and Place,"         Some of the key findings are:
       Areas with the highest levels of poor health also tend to have the lowest numbers of doctors, dentists and other health professionals (excluding nurses).
      Areas with high levels of poor health tend also to have high numbers of their population providing informal care for family and friend, as opposed to professional care.
       Areas with the highest proportions of unqualified young people tend to have the lowest number of teachers per head of population. The areas faring the best have four times the density of teachers and one third the rate of unqualified young people. 
       The financial hub of the City of London and the South East accounted for the overwhelming majority of "high-paid jobs." In most other areas, people with very good qualifications are more likely to be employed in lower-paid work. In areas of higher unemployment, those with jobs are less likely to work long hours, but unemployment itself is associated with physical and mental health problems.
      Approximately a million households have three or more cars. About the same number of households that might need a car (those with dependent children, etc.) have none.
      One comment sums it up, "--it is acutely disappointing to discover that so many opportunities and resources still depend on where people live. Wide and persisting inequality is reflected in big differences between 'rich' and 'poor' areas in terms of housing, education and health care as well as economic wealth. Perversely, people living in the poorest neighbourhoods with the greatest needs are often the least likely to have access to the services and support that would help them improve their lives and life chances."
      This failure can be attributed to successive Conservative and Labour governments. The areas with the highest life expectancy 10 years ago are the places that have seen the biggest increase in life expectancy since. Wealth lets you get health.
      Ben Wheeler stated, "The Census data show quite clearly that although living standards have increased in 60 years, the rich and the poor in Britain continue to live in two different worlds."
      The authors of the report have shown Britain as a severely divided society, between those with the greatest need for good health care, education, jobs, housing and transport who continue to have the worst access to opportunities and services 60 years after the founding of the welfare state, and a powerfully rich elite that continues to amass wealth and privilege. All indications are that this divide is widening.
        The rich have rigged voting to make sure nothing changes, if your poor why vote?
        That being the case what do you think will be the outcome of the slashing cuts that are heading the way of the ordinary people of this country? An ever widening gap with the poorest in society heading for deprivation not seen in this country since the 20s/30s.
        Now is the time to organise to protect our people, we can't wait until it is all over and then try to win back some of our conditions. You could fight for a decade and still not be back where we are at present, and that isn't too good is it?

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