The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, The world beyond West Lancashire

Shouldn’t Labour be making more of this?

10.29.08 | Comment?

I’m a bit surprised that Labour-supporting blogoland has not made a lot more of this important-looking report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as intially posted about by Hopi, which provides evidence that Labour has for 10 years been doing what;s supposed to be on its tin – reducing inequality. 

Maybe those naughty boys at the BBC have taken all the attention.  Or maybe it’s because the report is huge, the website horrible, getting a paper copy costs £50, andeven a pdf copy would distribute my wealth the wrong way.

But the key messages and the graphs at Table 11.1 and Figures 1.1 and 1.2, reached by scrolling down this page make pretty interesting reading in advance of the full 300 pager.

 Table 11.1 states pretty clearly that while both trends in income inequality and income poverty were amongst the worst in the 30 OECD countries from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s (ie. under the Conservatives), they were amongst the best in the subsequent decade to the mid-00s.  Figure 1.2 show this in graphic form with the appropriate Gini co-efficients, which I’m sure i’ll get the hang of when I get hold of the full report and technical appendices via a library somewhere.

 Figure 1.1. shows us at a point in time (mid 2000s) in comparison to the other 29 countries and the OECD average on income inequality, and shows we’ve got a long way to go still, because 18 years of Thatcer/Majorism put us so far behind.  No surprises who’s the most equal (Denmark and Sweden).

 So, to mutilate Bob’s very handy tagline, we may not have done fundamental or irreversible yet, and the balance of power thing still has a way to go, but we have at least made a decent start on the wealth shifting. 

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