8. An affordable and more equal society?


Britain became more unequal under the Conservatives during 1979-97.

What happened after 1997 is less clear. Measuring the distance between those at the very top and bottom, the Gini Coefficient suggests inequality increased. The 90:10 Ratio assesses the difference between those on more typical incomes and indicates it fell. Measures of relative poverty show pensioners and children became comparatively better off.

As a result of Labour’s initiatives to tackle unfairness, Conservative leader David Cameron claimed the government ‘maxed out’ the credit card and so was partly to blame for the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. Although increasing spending on public services, Labour’s overall expenditure as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product did not however significantly rise. Immediately before the 2008 financial crisis, which forced the government to pay out billions to prevent banks collapsing, spending was close to that which it inherited in 1997.

These graphs allow you make to make your mind up on both issues.





“8. An affordable and more equal society?,” New Dawn? 1997, accessed May 24, 2024, https://newdawn1997.omeka.net/items/show/48.


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>