Today, Compass responded to the damning National Equality Panel report by Professor John Hills – which revealed that the richest 10% are now 100 times more wealthy than the poorest – by calling for the government to wage war on income inequality. We have also urgently convened an inequality summit in Liverpool as we reveal over 120 MPs are now calling for a High Pay Commission.
This latest report into income inequality is a wake-up call for all who want a more equal society. No longer can we tolerate any government simply sitting back and being intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich. We must urgently do something about high pay as well as low pay – the two are intrinsically linked in the fight against gross income inequality.
Specifically, we therefore call on the government to now commit to take radical action to address the excessive pay levels which this report confirms are exacerbating inequalities.
We believe today’s findings must be a watershed moment not just for the government, but the entire nation. If we are to tackle the great inequality that blights Britain we must not aspire to reduce the top rate of tax as some ministers have suggested in recent days. Instead we should tackle egregious pay at the top through a High Pay Commission, make the Bankers’ Windfall Tax permanent and step up the commitment to a truly progressive taxation system.
The government must now embark on a bold programme of redistributive justice to help people on lower and middle incomes.
The National Equality Panel was first launched by Harriet Harman at the Compass National Conference in June 2008. This week, Compass announced an urgently convened summit on inequality to take place in Liverpoool on Thursday 4th of March entitled Debating Inequality UK – how to solve our social recession? Speakers include: Professor Richard Wilkinson, co-author, The Spirit Level; Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass; Ann Pettifor, author, The Coming World Debt Crisis and chaired by Cllr Jane Corbett, Liverpool City Council. For more details click here.