:: Thursday, September 01, 2005 ::

UK's rich and poor 'still live in different worlds despite the welfare state'

A new report out today from the JRF shows shocking levels of inequality in Britain. If you are poor or live in a poorer area you have more limited access to healthcare and education. New Labour like to claim that scrapping universal access to the welfare state was 'targetting' the most needy. Well, it is not working. We need to urgently restore universal access to benefits and fund them properly. It's time to declare war on poverty.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation Prof Dorling said: "Our analysis exploits the unique power of the most detailed Census data ever gathered on health, education, housing, employment and poverty. These are the aspects of British life that closely reflect the five 'Giant Evils' of disease, ignorance, squalor, idleness and want that William Beveridge identified in his 1942 report leading to the creation of a welfare state.

“From that point of view, 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."

Dr Ben Wheeler said: "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. Our report maps these differences and aims to stimulate discussion about ways in which policy-makers can begin to bridge the divide. We hope that this will add significantly to the debate about divided Britain and the importance of tackling geographical as well as individual poverty."

:: Alister | 3:19 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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