REPORT ON 2 STUDIES BY JOSEPH ROWNTREE FOUNDATION (JULY by l990juh

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									REPORT ON 2 STUDIES BY JOSEPH ROWNTREE FOUNDATION (JULY 2007)
(More detailed summaries are available on www.jrf.org.uk – the Regeneration Partnership office
   has downloaded copies of the full reports which can be emailed if anyone requires them.)

1. POVERTY AND WEALTH ACROSS BRITAIN 1968 TO 2005

This study provides a new spatial analysis of Britain’s changing picture of poverty and affluence
over the last 40 years.

The measures of poverty and wealth used for this study are:
         Core Poor (also sub set of breadline poor)
          People who are income poor, materially deprived and subjectively poor
         Breadline Poor
          People living below a relative poverty line and excluded from participating in the norms
          of society
         Neither Poor nor Wealthy
         Asset Wealthy
          Estimated using the relationship between housing wealth and the inheritance tax
          threshold
         Exclusively Wealthy (also sub set of asset wealthy)
          People with so much wealth they can exclude themselves from the norms of society.

Some key points identified by this study are:

         Since 1970, area rates of poverty and wealth in Britain have changed significantly.
          Britain is moving back towards levels of inequality in wealth and poverty last seen
          more than 40 years ago.
         Over the last 15 years more households have become poor but fewer are very poor.
          Even though there is less extreme poverty the overall number of ‘breadline poor’
          households increased – households where people live below the standard poverty line.
          This number has consistently been above 17%, peaking at 27% in 2001.
         Already wealthy areas have tended to become disproportionately wealthier. There is
          evidence of increasing polarisation, where rich and poor now live further apart.
         The general pattern is of increases in social equality during the 1970s followed by
          rising inequality in the 1980s and 1990s. Changes since 2000 are less clear.
         Both poor and wealthy households have become more and more geographically
          segregated from the rest of society.

The chart below shows poverty and wealth measures for Great Britain 1970-2000




                                                          Analysis of the datasets for
                                                          Gloucestershire is shown below.



                                                               Page 1 of 5        Report prepared July 2007 by the
                                                                             Regeneration Partnership (Cheltenham)
                                     Core Poor By District

             16

             14

             12                                                              Cheltenham
                                                                             Cotswold
             10
Percentage




                                                                             Forest of Dean
              8                                                              Gloucester
                                                                             Stroud
              6
                                                                             Tewkesbury
              4                                                              Gloucestershire

              2

              0
                  1970       1980             1990           2000




                                Breadline Poor by District

             30


             25
                                                                               Cheltenham
             20                                                                Cotsw old
Percentage




                                                                               Forest of Dean
             15                                                                Gloucester
                                                                               Stroud
             10                                                                Tew kesbury
                                                                               Gloucestershire
             5


             0
                  1970        1980             1990           2000




                           Non Poor - Non Wealthy by District

             70

             60
                                                                             Cheltenham
             50
                                                                             Cotswold
Percentage




             40                                                              Forest of Dean
                                                                             Gloucester
             30                                                              Stroud
                                                                             Tewkesbury
             20
                                                                             Gloucestershire
             10

              0
                    1980               1990              2000




                                                                     Page 2 of 5        Report prepared July 2007 by the
                                                                                   Regeneration Partnership (Cheltenham)
                             Asset Wealthy by District

             60


             50
                                                                      Cheltenham
             40                                                       Cotsw old
Percentage




                                                                      Forest of Dean
             30                                                       Gloucester
                                                                      Stroud
             20                                                       Tew kesbury
                                                                      Gloucestershire
             10


             0
                  1980           1990                2000




                         Exclusive Wealthy by District

             25


             20
                                                                 Cheltenham
                                                                 Cotswold
Percentage




             15                                                  Forest of Dean
                                                                 Gloucester
             10                                                  Stroud
                                                                 Tewkesbury
                                                                 Gloucestershire
              5


              0
                  1980         1990               2000




                                                            Page 3 of 5        Report prepared July 2007 by the
                                                                          Regeneration Partnership (Cheltenham)
                                Cheltenham


             70

             60

             50                                     Core Poor
Percentage




                                                    Breadline Poor
             40
                                                    Non Poor-Non Wealthy
             30
                                                    Asset Wealthy
             20                                     Exclusive Wealthy

             10

             0
                  1970   1980   1990         2000




                                Gloucester


             70

             60

             50                                     Core Poor
Percentage




                                                    Breadline Poor
             40
                                                    Non Poor-Non Wealthy
             30
                                                    Asset Wealthy
             20                                     Exclusive Wealthy

             10

              0
                  1970   1980   1990         2000




COMMENT
You can see from the above charts that Cheltenham and
Gloucester have very similar percentages of core and
breadline poor.
Also that Cheltenham and Gloucester have the lowest
percentages of exclusively and asset wealthy as at 2000.
We have extracted all of the Gloucestershire data by district
and criteria and we have charts of the other districts available.
Please let us know if you would like us to send you the full
excel file that we have produced.


                                                    Page 4 of 5        Report prepared July 2007 by the
                                                                  Regeneration Partnership (Cheltenham)
2. PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO ECONOMIC INEQUITY

This study is an investigation into public attitudes over economic inequality covering the last 20 years.

Public Attitudes to economic inequality

          Clear majorities in all groups think that the income gap between high and low income groups is
           too great. However, some socio-economic groups – particularly those on higher incomes - are
           significantly less likely than others to believe this.
          There is widespread acceptance that some occupations should be paid more than others: but
           the gap between high and low-paid occupations is far greater than people think it should be.
          People do not necessarily think that those on low incomes are underpaid, but those on higher
           incomes are very overpaid.
          In 2006, a majority of people (55%) thought there was quite a lot of poverty in Britain, only 19%
           thought poverty had fallen over the last decade, and close to half (46%) thought poverty would
           increase over the next 10 years. Only 13% thought it would fall.

Public Attitudes to Redistribution
Public attitudes to redistribution are complex, ambiguous and apparently contradictory.
        Far more people think the income gap is too large than explicitly support the principle of
             redistribution.
        32% in 2004 agreed that ‘government should redistribute income from the better-off to those
             who are less well-off’.
        There is evidence, however, of support for redistributive policies in practice:
        Large majorities support extra taxes to pay for health and education but there is also concern
             that taxes are too high.
        There is a general view that the low-paid pay too much in tax and the highly paid pay too little
             but there is no agreement about what constitutes low or high pay.

Explaining public attitudes to inequality and redistribution
In considering the contradictions in public attitudes, it is worth examining the more underlying values
which people draw on:

          Analyses that have focussed on values have divided the population in different ways, for
           example: ‘Samaritans’ (30% of population – those in favour of redistribution and a strong
           welfare state); ‘Club members’ (45% of population – they support a more conditional welfare
           state); ‘Robinson Crusoe’s’ (25% of population – they prefer to emphasise self-reliance and
           are more resistant to redistribution).
          Beliefs about the respective roles of luck and effort in determining individual success affect
           attitudes to inequality, poverty and redistribution. For example, those who believe that hard
           work leads to success are less supportive of redistribution.
          There is little direct empirical evidence about public attitudes regarding the causes and justice /
           injustice of inequality. But we do know that only 17% of people believe that large differences in
           income are necessary for Britain’s prosperity, whereas 58% believe that inequality persists
           because it benefits the rich and powerful.

Conclusion
There is growing interest in the potential effect of economic inequality on society, and emerging evidence
that a high level of inequality may cause socio-economic problems.

There is considerable public concern regarding economic inequality, and certainly no evidence that
people see the economic gap positively. There is also public concern with the position of those on high
earnings. But attitudes are highly complex and apparently contradictory.

Future research needs to take a more sophisticated approach to talking about ‘inequality’ and
‘redistribution’ as these vary in form, and attitudes may similarly vary depending on the particular kind of
inequality or redistribution that people have in kind.

                                                                      Page 5 of 5        Report prepared July 2007 by the
                                                                                    Regeneration Partnership (Cheltenham)

								
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