Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
6 September 2022

The UK is the second-most unequal G7 country

Liz Truss says there has been too much focus on redistribution but the US is the only major Western economy that is more unequal.

By Afiq Fitri

As households across the country threaten to refuse to pay soaring energy bills, Liz Truss, the new Conservative leader, responded over the weekend to criticism of her planned tax cuts by arguing that her vision was the best solution to the crisis engulfing the country.  

“To look at everything through the lens of redistribution I believe is wrong because what I’m about is about growing the economy and growing the economy benefits everybody,” she told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. “The economic debate for the past 20 years has been dominated by discussions about distribution.”

But recent data on income inequality shows the impact of limited redistribution. The UK continues to have the second-highest rate of inequality in the G7, behind only the US, according to statistics published by the OECD. 

Truss was responding to a study conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), which detailed how her plans to reverse the government’s National Insurance increase would disproportionately benefit higher-income households. The latter would gain £1,800 a year from the move while the poorest would gain just £7.66. 

The planned tax cut would cost approximately £13bn per year and while it might spur growth by allowing workers to earn more, it would “not be nearly sufficient to make the reform pay for itself”, the IFS said.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

[See also: England’s regions are not equally insulated for the coming winter

Content from our partners
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs
Flooding is a major risk for our homes
Why competition is the key to customer satisfaction

Topics in this article: ,