The Great Debate UK
Start with two (apparently contradictory) facts about income inequality in the UK:
1. Since coming to power in 1997, Labour has changed the tax and benefit system to make poor people better off, and rich people worse off.
2. The gap between rich and poor is now larger than when Labour came to power.
So Labour has acted to reduce inequality – and yet inequality has gone up. This presents us with something of a puzzle. Your first thought might be that one of the facts above simply isn’t true – that either Labour hasn’t redistributed as much as they claim, or the gap between rich and poor has been exaggerated – but we can illustrate both facts with simple charts.
At the very least, it’s frightfully convenient for the British government to call in the Serious Fraud Office to look into MG Rover, a former carmaker. Whether there’s a shocking crime or not, it suits Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, to organise a further delay before this gory case is finally closed.
– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has finally abandoned the idea of selling slices of the Royal Mail. It’s less than three weeks since his hapless Business Minister, Pat McFadden, had to defend the policy in the House of Commons but political reality necessitated this mercy killing.