Current Levels of Inequality Incompatible with Living Well within Ecological Limits

Inequality in Britain is at its highest point for 50 years. An info-graphic produced by Inequality Briefing is a startling visualization of the disparities of wealth in Britain.

Real levels of inequality are far greater than most people think, nevermind what most people believe is a fair distribution of wealth.

With vast swathes of the majority world in need of economic development to meet basic living standards, and if we are to live within very real ecological limits, we can’t afford the levels of inequality that currently prevail.

Economic growth has (at best) produced a highly uneven prosperity. We urgently need a new model of development and for democratic institutions to embrace and facilitate a bold and coordinated transition to ecological prosperity.

A poll in 2011 showed 80% in favour of government intervention to close the pay gap.*

For starters Steady State Manchester would like to see Local Authorities in Greater Manchester taking a bolder lead by doing 2 simple things:

1. Setting internal pay ratios explicitly in the context of commitments to sustainability.

2. Make pay ratios a consideration, and Living Wage rates a requirement, of all contracts to provide council services. (Salford and Oldham Councils have made some progress in this direction already.)

A report which makes a fuller case for these proposals is in progress.

And the task of building low-carbon high well-being economies remains the most pressing issue of our time.

*YouGov Plc. (2011). YouGov poll – ippr. Retrieved from http://www.ippr.org/
uploadedFiles/pressreleases/Pay_final-YouGov-poll-results.xls

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