Labour accused of losing equality fight

The Labour government has failed to make Britain a fair and just
society, according to a report by think-tank the Institute of
Public Policy Research.

“Parental social class and ethnicity still heavily influence
life-chances, whilst democratic participation is falling and
political influence is polarised according to class and wealth,”
says the report.

The document comes 10 years after the Commission for Social Justice
was set up to put the fight against inequality at the heart of the
Labour Party’s agenda.

The report finds that the UK still has a poor record on child
poverty. In 2001 – the latest year for which figures are available
– 23 per cent of children were living in UK homes earning below 60
per cent of the median income, compared with 5 per cent in Denmark,
10 per cent in Sweden and 14 per cent in Germany.

“The next five years are likely to be politically critical,” said
IPPR director Nick Pearce. “The government needs to lead the debate
more firmly in a progressive direction.

“Despite the boldness of its pledge to eradicate child poverty and
the expansion of investment in public services, the government does
not consistently articulate and publicly advocate a fairer, more
equal Britain,” he added.

The report praises the government’s efforts in tackling
unemployment and reducing child poverty.

The final version of the report will be published in

– The State of the Nation is available from

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